And now it appears that Allen’s big yacht has him in big trouble in the Cayman Islands, where officials have accused him of wrecking a high percentage of a protected coral reef.
The Department of Environment has accused the Microsoft co-founder of having caused serious damage to the protected coral reef in the West Bay replenishing zone.
Following an inspection by local divers to assess the damage, officials have found that Allen’s 300 ft yacht MV Tatoosh wrecked a high percentage of the coral, which is essential for marine’s life.
It is thought that the accident was caused by a yacht’s chain when it was anchored by the Doc Poulson shipwreck and The Knife dive site.
According to the Cayman News Service, the yacht’s anchor chain destroyed close to 14,000 square feet — three-tenths of an acre — of the coral reef in question, or about 80 percent of it. Coral reefs are considered vital for marine life to flourish and help protect coastlines from big waves and tropical storms.
Officials have yet to determine if Allen was aboard the yacht when the damage occurred but his camp is blaming the Port Authority, “claiming that they followed instructions when mooring the superyacht,” Y&BW’s Stef Bottinelli reports. “Shifting winds reportedly changed the position, pushing the ship toward the reserve but it was relocated to avoid damage,” the Cayman News Service says.
The Cayman Islands Department of Environment will issue its findings next week, and Allen could incur a big fine if he’s found to be responsible (though the Cayman News Service says the government there has failed to collect on similar sanctions levied on cruise-ship lines and other megayacht owners).
With a net worth of $17.4 billion, Allen probably can foot the bill.