Cruise anchor hits reef

| 28/08/2014

(CNS): The poor positioning of a cruise ship which arrived in George Town on Wednesday led to an anchor being dropped on the reef, which local divers say is happening all too frequently. Concerns were raised yesterday by a local operator and it is understood that following intervention from dive operators and the Department of the Environment the ship was eventually relocated by the Port Authority but not until after its massive anchor had been dropped on the coral for several hours. CNS contacted the Port Authority about the location of Carnival Magic but the questions have not been answered.

Local divers told CNS that this is far from an isolated incident and when they noticed the ship's anchor was dropped pretty far south of the usual anchorage #4 spot they contacted the port. They were assured that the anchor had been checked by the authority patrol and the anchor was on a sand patch and not the reef. However, the port officials also told the divers they could go check themselves and report any concerns to the DoE.

When the divers went to the area they found the anchor was on the coral and not the sand bed and as a result notified the port again and the DoE. The Department of Environment confirmed that they had then pressed for the boat to be relocated and moved away from the reef and into the normal location at anchor # 4.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Holy ship!

  2. Anonymous says:

    completely unacceptable.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Which would be of more benefit to the island and the people who benefit fom the cruse ships bringing people to our shores     a one time fine of $500,000.00     or    continued visits of cruise ships bringing people to shop,  hire taxis, employ tender-crews, mooring-masters, providing Government jobs for people,  etc.????    

    People should stop and think intelligenty before killing the goose that lays the golden egg!

    What if Carnival pays the fine and discontinues making Geoge Town  a pot of call  ?????? 

    Surely Carnival and other crusie line, can find othr destinations !


    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Especially since Carnival had nothing to do with it, an it was a locl port pilot that dropped the anchor.  

  4. Knot S Smart says:

    And in other news 'Mr Clean' finally got caught with his hand in the cookie jar…

  5. Daffy Duck says:

    Sadly, there has probably been no infraction here. I am led to believe that the official anchorage area controlled by the port authority extends as far south as Sunset House. This means that ships can be directed to anchor anywhere along this stretch of reef which includes Devils Grotto and Eden Rock which also has the silverside phenomenon an an annual basis. I think even more spectacular than the site out East that highlighted by the BBC or Nat Geo this past week because of the tunnels and caverns. The reef in front of Don Fosters, the old Seaview site ,which is spectacular and also the Sunset House reef with it's wreck and Mermaid..are all included in the Port Authority area…

    Please tell me that I am wrong…. I really would love to be wrong!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right, that area is official anchorage area.But it is still wrong to drop any anchor or anything else onto a reef. I mean come on if we destroy our reefs we would have NO tourism ,No places for fish to repopulate. Sad thing is most humans don’t care at all about the reef, that includes the fishermen in our waters they have no respect for the reef or even give the reef a chance to repopulate . Always over fishing, dropping there cement blocks on reefs or sand (as a anchor) sometimes they use the moorings which is nice. but still no respect for the creatures we eat. All that most people care about is money even with these cruiseships.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Marine Law prohibits "Damaging coral by anchor, chains, or any other means ANYWHERE in Cayman waters."

      Violations of the law are subject to a "maximum penalty of Cl$500,000 fine and one year in jail. Upon conviction, forfeiture of the vessel or other equipment may also be ordered."

      Odds of government seizing the vessel or other equipment is probably zero.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Who was the qualified Caymanian Pilot that anchored the ship there on a very quiet day for the harbor, where there was no need for it to be that close to the reef.  That's who should get the $500,000.00 fine. 09:50

  7. Anonymous says:

    The reef is one of Cayman's  most valuable resources. It is the bed rock oftourisim. It is What draws people to these beautiful islands again and again. An investigation into what happened is needed to determine if negligence is the cause. In many countries heavy fines are levied. The reef is as a delicate as crystal and takes generations to regenerate. Please do not allow political agendas to obscure one overriding reality. When the reef is gone it's gone for genrrations. The reef belongs to all generations of Caymanisns. Do all you have to do to protect it. The reef is more valuable than Caymans reputation as a ship registry. Trust me 

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac was right when he opened this anchorage area for cruise ships.

      at th time he made fun of the beautiful diving we had in our harbour, he said that you have to break an egg to fry an egg, to hell with the reef!

      We all pay the price for his ignorance.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dubm-a$$. How the beeeeep is MAC to bame for this? WTF are you smoking buddy??

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good morning , sad state of affairs what we're reading eh? One point to make tho, can we really charge Carnival? 

    Well that would be totally unfair, Carnival and all ships who need to anchor in the harbour use a port captain. Port captain is contracted from Bodden shipping. If anyone is to pay a fine it should be them , not Carnival. 

    Bodden shipping is red sail diving, they are a member of watersports assoc. sunset house is close to harbour and any of their boat captains would be able to see that a mistake has been made.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Exactly – where’s the fine?

    If that was a local they would be in jail before sunset.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there nothing at all that escapes the Caymanians versus foreigner crowd?  How the hell would they be in jail "if that was a local"?  Its not an arrestable offence.  Please show me all the examples of locals being jailed for damaging the reef, or for that matter the authorities prosecuting anyone for environmental damage.    Contrast that with the whopping fine one local man had to pay when his super yacht ran onto a US reef en route to Cayman.  

      Absolutely agree that this is outrageous, and someone should be held accountable, but lets not make it an us and them argument.  Its a "what the hell are the regulatory authorities doing to protect our reefs argument".  

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not “our” reef. It’s a reef that belongs to the Caymanian people.

        • Anonymous says:

          Indeed 12.44. And it is the Caymanian people who f**k it up too. Not just by allowing anchors to be dropped wherever, but by leaving their trash all over the beach after a nice day out. We take our trash home or find a trash can. Long live Cayman!

        • Coconutz says:

          Actually it belongs to the ocean, but who's keeping score?

        • Pit Bull says:

          It is a reef that belongs to the British people. 

    • Anonymous says:

      There wont be any fine. We no not have the brain to do that. Cant you all see that we  are regressing.

      Its time for the people to take this country back from the retards.

      The USA slaped a fine on HSBC bank in the sum of 2.2 Billion dollars and what did our so-call Monetary Authority did? they slapped them on the wrist and told them they were  bad boys.

      In any civilized country,  ships cant as much as to  let off black soot from their smoke stack,

      Where in the hell did these people come from? and we brag about Caymanians being the bestat what they do!!

      When the English ran things it was much better…sad to say!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Someone at DOE should put a go pro camera on the reef near Eden Rock to video the destruction caused by the prop wash from cruise ships and the sand picked up and blown over the corals… after the cruise ships depart for the day the bottom looks like a football game between caterpillar tractors was played out there… 

  11. Anonymous says:

    There are 62 miles of  coral heads around Cayman. What's wrong with removing a quarter mile for the ships to moor conveniently. When the ships stop coming I guess the divers and everyone else that it effects can eat the coral. What a bunch of idiots, the same people that are complaining about this on that same day collected money from some passengers that they took diving. Go ahead, fine them $500,000.00 and I hope Carnival pull out the next day. Where else in the world do you see divers in a busy harbour under ships moored, coming and going but in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand your point. In fact I agree with your point. The thing is that an especified sacrificial area is already established. Those are "Anchorage Areas #1 #2 #3 and # 4. The Carnival Magic was guided by local pilots to a position far South of area # 4.  We may have 62 odd miles of reef around the island but most of the ship passengers snorkel and dive areas adjecent to the harbor. Other areas are too far for a day visit.  May be wind direction that day made positioning such a ship very difficult. But why damage a new section of the reef that people dive day in and day out? Even the Atlantis Sub navigates that area at times. I dont know you but obviously you already know me because I am within that "bunch of idiots" you mentioned that frowned upon an anchor on a healthy coral reef. We are responsible for managing the natural resources and in this subject opinios are pretty far apart.The cruise ships may stop coming at any time the Cayman Islands are not convenient for them financially and also as soon as we finish destroying the little we have and there is nothing left to show. Then we will have a pretty roomy anchorage area and perhaps even a nice comfy big cement dock all to ourselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have to agree with you on that 16;55

      Caymanians want their cake and eat it too. They want the tourist dollars, which they been sucking for the last 50 years, but wont give them safe sidewalks, a covered pavilion from the sun, clean toilets from pissing their pants. 

      We have to sacrifice certain things to succeed. Get that in your stupid heads… people!!

      The same issue with the Dilbert's marina. There are 28 miles of coral heads around the Brac, and all Clevland is asking to remove is a 100 feet wide by  probably 50 feet  out untill he reaches the depth he needs at 12 feet.

      Ignorant people say this is going to destroy the marine life. How stupid can the human being really get??

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a conspiracy to promote the need for a cruise dock, when really we need more capable people in charge of the Port NOW to make sure this senseless destruction DOES NOT HAPPEN ONE MORE TIME…. intelligent and environmentally concious people who should have seen the precarious positioning of this ship LONG before concerned citizens had to bring it to their attention.  With this mentality a dock won't do us much good because there will be nothing left for people to come here to see.  The dock alone is NOT the answer.

  13. bearbaiter says:

    Easy solution: next time a ship does it get an underwater welder with a tourch and cut the anchour chain. The anchour and chain will no longer damage our reef but will make an attractive dive site – and you can bet your bottom dollar no ship will ever do it again!!

  14. SKEPTICAL says:

    Doesn't say much for the abilities of the Port Authority staff, but are we really surprised. And the first two commentators are absolutely right – what is the point of having the power to fine negligent cruise ship companies, if we never use those powers. In any context, nothing catches your attention much better than having to fork out cash for a bloody big fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't think it is the Port Authority staff who anchors the ships.

  15. Anonymous says:

    If they levied the fine, maybe, just maybe, we could built those finger piers for a lot less …

  16. Anonymous says:

    Different day, same sh!t.

    What will the powers that be do?….likely the usual….which is to say; nothing meaningful!

  17. Chris Burrowswood says:

    I reported several times to the port authority and even did an interview with cayman 27.  One time they wouldnt even believe a USA coast Guard Capt  that the Sand Cay had just put a role on role off cargo ship on to Eden Rocks which scraped the top off the reef. Other times Carnival Legend use to damage the reef on the main wall between Devil's Grotto and Donfosters they would not do anything then so action in the USA web pages ha dto be taken before they moored up by 7 mile for a few weeks. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    Doesn't matter…will soon be dredged up

  19. Sweet sop says:

    That's why we need berthing. What is taking soooooo long. Come on Government lets get on the ball and get the badly needed berthing.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn't the DoE do another Environment impact study to obstruct building a Cruise Dock , once they are done protecting and digging up a stink pond in Cayman Brac.



  21. Anonymous says:

    The accuracy of the GPS system for such use is within one metre. Therefore there is no excuse why specific anchoring locations are not outlined on a map.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Cruise ship drops anchor on reef / dive site . This has been happening for over 40 years , why today ?  I dont know why the   Water  sport / Dive Assosations have not got behind Goverment and  put down markers where cruise ships can drop the anchor , also a pilot  from the Port Authority to make shore that the anchor is not droped no where else . Why is Goverment collecting  all the fees from cruise ships and not protecting the enviorment . Dont tell me that the Port  Authority is the same as it was  in the 1970s and 1980s with just a ship to shore radio .

  23. Shore Diver says:

    The article states that "They were assured that the anchor had been checked by the authority patrol and the anchor was on a sand patch and not the reef."   Had been checked?  Did the Authority Patrol lie or are they just incompetent?  Who IS the Authority Patrol?

    • anonymous says:

      Probably a bit of both with some Caymankind old-school obstruction thrown in for good measure.

    • anonymous says:

      Nobody expects the Authority Patrol!

      They answer to only a select few inside the Vatican and can trace their history back to the 11th century.

  24. Maiden Plum says:

    Hit up carnival for that fine!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    You know, going into the Archives is like getting déjà vu. I was just reading a Nor'Wester about this same issue from '78.

    And I quote: "The decline of the Cayman Islands as a popular diving area could be started if ship's anchors and chains continue to dislodge coral formations, and break them up into rubble which is scattered across the once-vibrant and living reef."

    Why is our government seemingly incapable of making lasting change in a country that is only 100 square miles? I hope that the cruise ship be fined, as it should be according to the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is inexcusable. Fine them!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Politicians care about bar-rooms and spaniards. They don't care about the reef. Hence why we are still dealing with the same issues from the 70's.

      Caymanians are to blame for the ruination of this once beautiful gem, not foreigners.


    • Anonymous says:

      When you have special interest groups and wealthy families arguing over who will get what and how much, nothing is ever done right. This is how it is in Cayman, like other places, so we all suffer for it.

  26. Anonymous says:

    So how long before DOE levies the 500k fine that are meant just for these types of incidents???

    • Anonymous says:

      Moses would never let that happen to his buddies…

    • Anonymous says:

      Dream on. They should, but they won't. Can't go biting the hand that feeds right ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Each cruise ship arriving into the Cayman Islands are anchored by a qualified and exprienced  Caymanian Pilot. Pilots are used internationally, as a way to guide ships into safe harbour without causing damage to ships and the enviornment. You can only fine a cruise line if after the ship was anchored by the pilot, the Master of the ship lifted his anchor for whatever reason, (eg. change of weather conditions) and reanchored the ship himself, which resulted in damage to the eviornment.

      If it was an error on the pilots part when the ship was originally anchored/positioned, then it's extremely difficult to prosecute the cruise line. Usually, if the Master has to haul his anchor due to changing weather conditions, he will proceed offshore to deeper water and idle his ship at it's engines.  

      • Anonymous says:

        So fine and prosecute the Master. 

      • Anonymous says:

        09.50- well done. I see another mariner who knows his stuff. One question, I see the cruise ships coming in two or three days a week, but have not seen a pilot ship going to meet them. Do they use pilots here? I honestly don't know.

    • Anonymous says:

      As soon as we're not afraid of pissing someone off that might withold some precious money from us