Cruise Ship Hits Reef in Raja Ampat
A reef in Raja Ampat, widely voted as one of the all-time greatest scuba diving destinations on the planet, was struck by a cruise ship on 4 March.
The 90m-long MV Caledonian Sky was carrying 102 passengers who had been enjoying a snorkelling trip in the pristine waters around the island of Kri, when weather conditions caused her to drift and eventually run aground at a site known as Crossover Reef.
The extent of the damage is unknown but judging by some of the pictures released on the Facebook page of local travel website Stay Raja Ampat, the impact was quite severe. The vessel was apparently under power when she struck the reef.
The passengers were evacuated from the Bahamian Flagged vessel and – according to a report in the local Teropong News – an unidentified senior member of the crew has accepted responsibility for the damage caused to the reef.
Needless to say, the incident has sparked outrage amongst the local community and divers around the world, highlighting as it does the unintended consequences of tourism in some of the most unspoiled waters of the world’s oceans.
The MV Caledonian Sky aground off the island of Kri (Stay Raja Ampat / Facebook)