George Town, Grand Cayman reef splendor. Photo by Roger W via Flickr (CC 2.0)


Shaking my head this morning, as I read (and watch) a cruise ship’s anchor and chain chop through an already struggling coral reef in the Cayman Islands. [Cayman 27]


Cayman Islands. Planiglobe/RaviC (CC 2.5)


Local diving instructor Scott Prodahl noticed the 700-ft vessel seemed too close to the reef, and took his video camera down to investigate.


Screen capture from Scott Prodahl’s video of the damage.


What he found and recorded was MV Zenith’s chain and anchor tumbling on the reef, kicking up fragments of broken coral and clouds of silt.



Cayman 27: Mr. Prodahl said the damage to the reef was extensive.

“It’s a lot bigger than what you see in the video,” said Mr. Prodahl. ”In the video you only see a very small portion of that chain tumbling nut in reality it’s the entire length of it tumbling and scouring across the reef.”


Photo via Cayman 27 provided by DOE Chief Conservation Officer Mark Orr shows the Zenith apparently within the designated anchorage zone on Tuesday (8 December)


And what’s worse? This isn’t the first time this has happened to this reef.

The damage is in relatively close proximity to the site where the Carnival Magic cruise ship damaged 16,000 square feet of reef in August of 2014. That incident happened outside the designated anchorage zone, yet none of the parties deemed responsible in the DOE’s incident report were ever prosecuted.


Grand Cayman Department of Environment authorities have stated that the MV Zenith is anchored in a “designated anchorage zone.” Read more from Cayman 27 here…


posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee