Collector Paul Allen’s Yacht Accidentally Destroys a Coral Reef

The art collector's 300-foot-long yacht is difficult to park.

Paul Allen's yacht, Tatoosh. Photo: courtesy Boat International.
Paul Allen's yacht, Tatoosh. Photo: courtesy Boat International.

Microsoft co-founder and noted art collector Paul Allen had a bit of an accident on his super-yacht, Tatoosh, destroying much of the coral reef off the coast of Grand Cayman on January 15, reports Page Six.

“Initial figures place the damaged area at 1,200 square meters… with 80 percent of the coral within that area destroyed,” said a Cayman Department of Environment representative in a statement.

In 2015, Allen, who is worth an estimated $18 billion, launched the Seattle Art Fair, which proved a hit among the tech sector. His new Seattle nonprofit arts institution Pivot Art + Culture, however, may be closing almost as quickly as it opened.

Allen and his crew could face criminal prosecution and up to a $600,000 fine for violation of national conservation laws, which offer protection to the Caymans’ coral reefs.

Tatoosh, at 300 feet long, is the the world’s 49th largest yacht according to Boat International. Though the mega-yacht could be seized in order to cover any fines, insurance coverage will likely prevent that from happening.

It has not been confirmed whether or not Allen was on board the ship during the incident. His company, Vulcan Inc., told Geek Wire that the billionaire is cooperation with local authorities and that “Tatoosh was moored in a position explicitly directed by the local Port Authority. When its crew was alerted by a diver that her anchor chain may have impacted coral, the crew promptly relocated to ensure the reef was protected.”

Ironically, Allen has been a major supporter of ocean conservation efforts. He also owns an even larger yacht, the Octopus, which is over 400 feet long.

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