UK ambassador summoned over Indonesia cruise ship grounding

The British ambassador was summoned by Indonesia after a ship operated by a Noble Caledonia ran aground causing extensive damage to a coral reef.

The 4,290-ton Caledonian Sky hit reefs off an island in Raja Ampat, Papua province, at low tide earlier this month.

The ship was taking tourists on a bird-watching expedition in a region famous for its biodiversity.

Local people, who rely on dive and environmental tourism, were reported to be devastated by the damage to the pristine reef.

The damage was made worse by failed attempts to pull the ship off the coral with a tug boat, without waiting for high tide, the BBC reported.

UK ambassador Moazzam Malik said he had a “very good discussion” with Indonesia’s co-ordinating minister for maritime affairs, Luhut Panjaitan.

Malik added that he was “disappointed to learn about the damage to this coral reef in West Papua, as we are with any environmental incident that occurs in Indonesia or anywhere else in the world”.

He said: “We hope the matter can be resolved quickly between the Indonesian authorities and the company that is responsible for this accident and was managing the ship.”

Noble Caledonia previously described it as an “unfortunate” incident and said the company was “firmly committed to protection of the environment”.
The ship was described as “undamaged” before it sailed on to the Philippines.

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