Cruise ship smashes into coral in Raja Ampat
The Jakarta Post
The Caledonian Sky, a 90-meter British-owned cruise ship, smashed into and destroyed coral reefs in Raja Ampat, West Papua, on March 4, despite being equipped with GPS and radar.
The incident not only destroyed 1,600 square meters of coral reefs but also severely damage the ecosystem.
Ricardo Tapilatu, the head of the Research Center for Pacific Marine Resources at the University of Papua, said having the ship towed away by a tug boat from Sorong while it was still low tide had caused more damage.
An evaluation team said that Noble Caledonia, the owner of the ship, should pay compensation of $1.28 million to $1.92 million as the marine park's ecosystem had been compromised.
“If the company doesn't want to pay compensation, the local government will take the case to court,” Tapilatu said.
The company, as quoted by guardian.com, described the incident as “unfortunate” and said it was “cooperating fully with the relevant authorities.”
The Caledonian Sky is a 4,290-tons cruise ship that was carrying 102 passengers and 79 crew on a 16-night journey from Papua New Guinea to the Philippines. It ran aground on the coral after a bird-watching trip to Waigeo Island, one of four big islands in Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat in West Papua is considered one of the best places to dive in the world and has the richest underwater biodiversity on Earth. (hol/wit)
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