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After settlement, billionaire continues to dispute Tatoosh damage

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Government’s undisclosed financial settlement with billionaire mega-yacht owner Paul Allen doesn’t include an admission of guilt or any other wrongdoing.

Back in January, a divemaster discovered a damaged section of coral reef underneath the anchorage area where Port Authority officials advised the 300 foot Tatoosh to anchor.

Mr. Allen’s company, Vulcan Inc, continues to dispute the DOE’s assessment of the size and scope of the damage.

“The total area affected was significantly less than the 14-thousand square feet listed, and there was prior unremediated damage that made it difficult to determine what, if any, actual damage was caused by the Tatoosh,” said a spokesperson in an email Tuesday.

The divemaster who discovered the coral reef damage didn’t wish to be identified, but reacted to news of the settlement in a social media exchange.

“I’m pleased to hear the results have been positive and the government can now invest in the permanent moorings,” she said, indicating she has no desire to revisit the incident.

Environment Minister Wayne Panton is giving kudos to that dive professional for her part in the Tatoosh incident.

“In the past we certainly have had some damage that has occurred, and it wasn’t discovered until quite a ways down the road in time, and that makes it very very difficult then to engage with the parties that may have been involved, which resulted in that damage,” said Mr. Panton, referring to a March 2015 discovery of 645 square feet of damaged reef near the 13 Trees dive site that ultimately went un-prosecuted. “Definitely kudos to those who keep an eye on those things.”

Minister panton said government is working on the costing and procurement for the yacht moorings…


About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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