Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

United Kingdom ambassador to Indonesia summoned over coral damage

United Kingdom ambassador to Indonesia summoned over coral damage

A preliminary investigation estimated that the cruise ship damaged almost 1,600 square meters of coral reef at a diving site known as Crossover Reef, as the ship ran aground in shallow waters during low tide on March 4.

Security monitoring will cover almost 1,600 square meters of damaged coral reef beds caused by the British cruise ship Caledonian Sky.

Tapilatu told The Guardian that they should have waited for high tide to refloat the cruise ship.

British Ambassador Moazzam Malik met with Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan this morning.

There has been outrage in Indonesia and local officials have suggested the captain could face criminal charges.

"I am disappointed to learn about the damage to these coral reefs in West Papua", Malik said. "We hope the matter can be resolved quickly between the Indonesian authorities and the company that is responsible for this accident".

However, Malik also noted that the ship was in fact owned by a Swedish company.

"We are ready to take any possible steps to address the issue", Oegroseno said. The tour operator Noble Caledonia, which organised the voyage to Indonesia, is based in London.

"He [the captain] attempted to break free from the reefs and made the damage even worse even though he was ordered to stop", Pandjaitan said.

It said the ship then sailed to Bitung without waiting for an assessment of the damage, and is now in the Philippines.

The government has set up a task force to investigate the devastation of the reef and promised to take firm action.

Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the damaged coral reefs in Raja Ampat, West Papua.

The company said it will help in the reef's regeneration by creating a fund to help the local economy impacted by the reef's destruction and to help pay for repairs to the coral.

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