TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government is still investigating why the MV Caledonian Sky crashed into the Raja Ampat coral reefs in West Papua. There are possibilities that the cruise ship may have gone off course.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry's director for pollution and coastal damage control Heru Waluyo said the suspicion arose after the ministry held a meeting with representatives of the ship's insurer yesterday, March 15.
An insurance agent was on board the ship when it rammed into the pristine coral reefs. "He said that the ship suddenly went off its course," Heru said here on Wednesday.
Heru added that the agent also suspects human error. "He said it is possible that the captain, Keith Michael Taylor, might have made a mistake," Heru said.
"It's a sophisticated ship, how come it managed to enter a coral reefs area?" he added.
On Saturday, March 4, the Caledonian Sky hit the Raja Ampat coral reefs at low tide. The ship ran on the coral on its way to Bitung, North Sulawesi, after a bird-watching tour.
The incident is estimated to have caused irreparable damage to 13,533 square meters of one of the world's best coral reefs and damage its ecosystem.
At least eight genera of corals were destroyed. Hundreds of fish that normally surrounds the site are now nowhere to be seen. The regeneration of these coral reefs is estimated to take at least 10 years.
Heru said the meeting also discussed the amount of claims that the insurer can cover. "The agent said they can pay up to US$1 billion," he said.