"A cruise ship MV Caledonia Sky is owned and operated by a Swedish company and not a British firm," British Ambassador to Indonesia Moazzam Malik stated.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The MV Caledonia Sky cruise ship that damaged the coral reefs in Raja Ampat, West Papua, was owned and operated by a Swedish company.

"A cruise ship MV Caledonia Sky is owned and operated by a Swedish company and not a British firm," British Ambassador to Indonesia Moazzam Malik stated after a meeting with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan here on Friday.

During the meeting, Ambassador Malik discussed and exchanged views with Senior Minister Panjaitan on the destruction of coral reefs in Raja Ampat, West Papua.

The ambassador expressed concern over the damage caused to the coral reefs in the region. The ambassador offered continued support to the Indonesian governments efforts to conduct investigations for dealing with the destruction to the coral reefs.

"The investigation is expected to be completed soon," the ambassador stated.

Meanwhile, Minister Panjaitan noted that the status of Captain Keith Michael Taylor was complicated.

"The captain is a British passport holder but lives in Florida, the US. A Swedish company operates the ship, but MV Caledonia Sky was bearing the flag of the Bahamas," the minister pointed out.

Hence, he will invite and contact representatives of these countries in an attempt to solve the problem.

He affirmed that the government will undertake all necessary efforts to file a lawsuit related to the case.

The MV Caledonian Sky cruise ship, which ran aground onto a coral reef off Raja Ampat District in West Papua on March 4, 2017, had resulted in a huge loss to the district.

The damage caused by Caledonian Sky, carrying hundreds of tourists and 79 crew members aboard, was due to the negligence of the its captain, according to the Raja Ampat district government.

The 4,290-tonne ship, which was on a 16-night journey from Papua New Guinea to the Philippines, damaged approximately 1.3 hectares of coral at a diving site known as the Crossover Reef in Raja Ampat.

The accident resulted in the destruction of the ecosystems structural habitat and the reduction or loss of diversity of eight coral genera, including acropora, porites, montipora, and stylophora.

Raja Ampat Tourism Office Chief Yusdi Lamatenggo remarked in the West Papua provincial city of Sorong on Wednesday that the 90-meter-long ship, owned by tour operator Noble Caledonia, sailed to the island of Gan for bird-watching but went unnoticed by the local government.

Lamatenggo noted that the Raja Ampat district government came to know of the ship after receiving reports that it had run aground and inflicted significant damage to one of the worlds most biodiverse reefs, which have been voted among the best diving spots in the world.

The results of field investigations conducted by the local government indicated that the vessel entered Gam Island through proper channels but followed the wrong route and ran aground after the bird-watching activity.

Hence, he remarked that the government believes the incident was caused due to the negligence of the captain of the sophisticated ship, which had advanced detection tools.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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