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Luxury Yacht Sutck on Reef, Abscondes away #540512
02/11/20 05:36 AM
02/11/20 05:36 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 71,210
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
200 feet luxury yacht has used the Belize Barrier Reef to anchor down

A Samadhi Yacht is anchored on the reef at Lighthouse Reef Atoll, which is a popular dive site. As seen in this video, the anchor wraps around corals. It was observed by local Belizean divers who are calling on authorities to urgently address the issue. The Aquarium at Long Caye is located inside the Lighthouse Reef Atoll and is one of the area’s most popular dive sites. To safeguard the coral, mooring points were installed many years ago.

There was therefore NO need to drop anchor. Brace yourself for heartbreaking footage of at least 75ft chain destroying live coral.

Video footage:Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop

A luxury yacht that was anchored on the Belize Barrier Reef, at one of the country’s prime dive destinations, has absconded. Jorge Aldana has the details in the following report.

Re: Luxury Yacht Sutck on Reef, Abscondes away [Re: Marty] #540520
02/11/20 06:23 AM
02/11/20 06:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 71,210
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Anchor Grounded on Reef near Long Caye

News spread like wildfire on Sunday evening on social media as images surfaced of an anchor grounded near Long Caye in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.  The area is known as one of the most popular dive site because of the diverse marine life and the corals located there. While tours were underway, a yacht which is not registered in Belize, did not lodge itself to any of the mooring pins in the area, but instead released its anchor on the aquarium. The devastating reef destruction at Lighthouse Reef has environmentalists up in arms because the images, taken by one of the dive crews in the area, show that the owner seemingly had no regard for the marine life and protocol for visitors in the area. The atoll is managed by the Belize Audubon Society, who was notified immediately of the incident, but by the time they got to the area along with the personnel from the Belize Coast Guard, the vessel had already left the area. Executive Director Amanda Burgos shares details.

Amanda Burgos, Executive Director, Belize Audubon Society

“Once we found out about the grounding and we saw the footage, we did proceed to the location accompanied by the Coast Guard—so it was a joint initiative—however, by the time we got out there, the vessel was already outside the atoll. It had left the location already. Indications are that the vessel had already checked out from Sunday and that it was just a last stop on their visit. The exact reasoning, we cannot reason as to why, what happened, however, we want to assure people that the government agencies have been contacted and they will be doing an assessment. There were dive boats out on Sunday. The last dive of the day when you do a Lighthouse Reef, Blue Hole, Halfmoon Caye wall dive is the aquarium. It is a shallow dive and is very famous of its marine biodiversity—lots of fish, lots of beautiful coral. That location has mooring pins, which is another point to flag. There are large vessels often anchored but more down south of that location. Long Caye is a large mangrove island; it is one of the five islands in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll and it is a commerce spot in terms of wave action and marine navigation. So there are mooring pins and anchoring locations but further south down from that location. From all indications we have, the information gotten to us that we have the video from sometime around four-thirty to about five; different people, different agencies including Belize Audubon, the Belize Coast Guard, Fisheries Department and several other government agencies received the video footage, it was shared with everybody and a series of calls and actions went into place.”

Samadhi Vessel is Tracked to Honduras

Today, we did a search on the location of the vessel. According to the information, the Samadhi yacht, which was built back in 2006, is registered to the Cayman Island. Just before news time tonight, the pleasure craft is located in the Gulf of Honduras. The overall length of the vessel is about two hundred feet and its width is thirty-five feet and its deadweight tonnage is two hundred and twenty tons. News Five has been told that the Department of Environment, with assistance from the coastguard, are tracking the vessel and have contacted their Honduran counterpart in an effort to intercept it.  While the damage assessment will be done by D.O.E. personnel, earlier today when we spoke with Executive Director Amanda Burgos, she says that they will assist with facilitating where they can.

Amanda Burgos, Executive Director, Belize Audubon Society

“So there is a methodology; it is a standard methodology that has been developed that the D.O.E. and like I said the Fisheries and other agencies implement. You dive and you do a transit looking at the impact. It is a large yacht so the anchor has to sustain a vessel of that size. If you all know that the breeze has been blowing here; we can only surmise that it was blowing equally as strong there. But yes, as the boat shifts, the chain will move. Estimations of a chain length anywhere from a hundred to seventy-five feet of chain is what was dragged. But I would not like to speculate; I haven’t seen the damage, I haven’t seen the site. I don’t know the exact length of time that the vessel was there. It was probably a few hours that it was at that site. The normal time of that dive is in the afternoon and like I said between five-thirty and six, the vessel was gone already.”

Channel 5

Re: Luxury Yacht Sutck on Reef, Abscondes away [Re: Marty] #540549
02/13/20 05:33 AM
02/13/20 05:33 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 71,210
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Billionaire's Mega Yacht Wrecked Part Of Lighthouse Reef

Yesterday we showed you how a billionaire's mega-yacht wrecked the reef. That's because major damage was caused to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll area after a luxury yacht belonging to American billionaire hedge funder Daniel Loeb threw its anchor right unto it. The 75-foot chain of the "Samadhi's" anchor was seen to break off pieces of the reef as it tracked along.   And after that the Samadhi just rolled out, leaving the costly, irreparable damage in its wake.  Fortunately divers were able to get the footage before it left.  

Today, Legal Counsel for the ministry of the Environment  Jeavon Hulse told us that the Department of the Environment went to gather information.   He says he plans to file an information and complaint against the vessel in the courts - but it will just lie there, since the yacht and its owners have rolled out.

OCEANA says the area located inside the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is one of the area's most popular dive sites, and damage done to the area, simply heart-breaking. Earlier today we spoke to the NGO's Communications Director Alyssa Carnegie-Noble who called the action unconscionable:

Alyssa Carnegie-Noble - OCEANA
"We're in touch with Government officials and in terms of the damages, we're still not sure exactly what the charges or initial impact or kind of assessment has resulted in if we can take past incidents as any type of indication we know that the damages are going to be significant. Coral does take a very long time to grow back and as you can see from the video that was taken by the divers from the dive shop just visually looking at it you can see pieces of coral that are falling off and that it's a significant amount of load or chain from the anchor that's there."

"Well I think beyond the who's the person in this specific occasion, I think it has to go beyond just the one occasion I think to you know a policy overall so that you know these things are minimized and chances for these thing so happen are minimized and if they do happen that they are prosecuted, charged, and fined to the fullest extent of the law. As we understand whoever was on the ship just left. It is heart-breaking and it is unconscionable. We hope that the authorities do get the information they need and that the captain, the crew, the people who are responsible for this are found and do come back and take ownership of this incident and take full responsibility for it and pay for the damages."

"Oceana like every Belizean is really heartbroken by this we've personally had the good fortune to have been out there before and seen this sight before and know it in its glory and so it's something that's really sad to see and as an Organization, we definitely will do our part to insure where we can you know if we can get information how we can get it. We will do that and that has already been conveyed to our government partners."

And yesterday when the Samahdi pulled up anchor and left the Belize City Harbor authorities had not yet been able to address the damages done to the reef. 

Channel 7

Re: Luxury Yacht Sutck on Reef, Abscondes away [Re: Marty] #540604
02/14/20 05:43 AM
02/14/20 05:43 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 71,210
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Daniel Loeb's Yacht Damages Belize Coral Reef

A luxury yacht owned by hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb damaged a pristine reef atoll in Belize near the famous Great Blue Hole, a popular diving site.

The 200-foot (61 meter) Samadhi, owned by Third Point founder Loeb, was filmed last Sunday anchored at Belize’s Lighthouse Reef Atoll. A spokesperson said Loeb was not in the vessel at the time. The Financial Times first reported the incident and said there would be an official investigation.

A spokesperson for Belize’s Department of the Environment told the FT that the vessel had damaged the area.

“As a life-long surfer and someone who loves the ocean, I was horrified to hear about this incident in Belize,” Loeb said in a statement. “We promptly contacted the Belize Audubon Society (a conservation group) and are committed to working together to restore the reef.”

Loeb acquired the Samadhi in 2013 from banker and former Citigroup Chief Executive Office Sandy Weill. The vessel is offered for charter on several websites, with a starting price of $360,000 per week.

While on a charter trip, the yacht was anchored on a patch of sand off the coast of Belize and the anchor was inadvertently dragged onto coral, according to an emailed statement by Wright Maritime Group, the company managing safety at the vessel. The company will be collaborating with local environmental groups on the remediation and conservation of local reefs in the area, the statement said.

The Belize barrier reef is a Unesco World Heritage site and the largest of its kind in the northern hemisphere, and was described by Charles Darwin as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies.”



[Linked Image]

Anchor Damage In Lighthouse Reef Atoll By 'Samadhi' Yacht

Press Release by Belize Audubon Society - Shortly before 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 9, 2020, the Belize Audubon Society, along with other relevant government agencies, was alerted of possible coral reef damage (via video footage) by the anchor of a large yacht within the popular dive site “The Aquarium” at Long Caye in Lighthouse Reef Atoll. BAS Rangers were then deployed from Half Moon Caye along with officers of the Belize Coast Guard in a joint action to respond to the situation and intercept the vessel. Unfortunately, the vessel had already departed the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

The 200-foot yacht later identified as “Samadhi”, belonging to David Loeb, legally entered and checked out of Belizean waters through its local Port Agent and the Belize Port Authority on Sunday, February 9, 2020. While the extent of the damage is being assessed by officers of the Department of Environment, preliminary investigations conducted on Tuesday, February 11, confirms damage is evident but the extent is yet to be determined. We await the official report. David Loeb and his representatives are fully cooperating with the Government of Belize on this legal matter. Additionally, Ryan Davies, fleet operations manager at Wright Maritime Group who manages safety at the vessel, has started their company will collaborating with local environmental groups on the remediation and conservation of Lighthouse Reef to make amends for this unfortunate accident.

We take this opportunity to thank the local tour guides and divers that took immediate action to record and report this incident to the relevant authorities as active stakeholders and citizen scientists. We also thank the general public for their vigilance in demanding accountability for our precious Belize Barrier Reef, standing in solidarity of this unfortunate incident. As the proud co-managers of Half Moon Caye Natural Monument and Blue Hole Natural Monument on behalf of the people of Belize, Belize Audubon Society is grateful to be guardians of our marine resources and look forward to a swift resolve. The Belize Audubon Society and Belize Coast Guard will continue to be vigilant in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll area and continue to closely monitor all activities.

Re: Luxury Yacht Sutck on Reef, Abscondes away [Re: Marty] #540605
02/14/20 05:44 AM
02/14/20 05:44 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 71,210
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Assessment For Super Yacht Damage Super Small

This week we've told you how a superyacht owned by hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb ripped up a portion of Belize's reef.

It caused major damage to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll area after the luxury yacht threw its anchor right unto it.

And, the 75-foot chain of the "Samadhi's" anchor was seen to break off pieces of the reef as it tracked along. And after that the Samadhi just rolled out, leaving the costly, irreparable damage in its wake.

Luckily for Belize, international arms of OCEANA were able to use their networks to reach out to Loeb and the company that manages his yacht.

And yesterday Wright Maritime group's fleet operations manager, Ryan Davies, reached out to Belize's Audubon society: He told them that the vessel's anchor had "inadvertently" dragged through the coral while moored on a patch of sand.

But Davies has promised that his company will be collaborating with local and environmental groups to remedy and conserve the corals of lighthouse reef as well as other reefs in the area.

WMG has also said that they remain committed to making amends for the unfortunate accident.

And today when we spoke to the director of Health Reefs, Healthy People she said that while the incident won't be recorded in the report card, bigger yachts and their bigger anchors need to be aware of the damage they can cause:

And while the damage looked horrible the Department of the Environment completed the damage assessment yesterday and it's not all that. The total value of the damage is approximately $126,000 BZ. With fines added on top and cost of operations, it totals approximately $150,000.

Channel 7

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