Luxury Yacht, Owned by Third Point Re’s Loeb, Damages Belize Coral Reef

By Laura Millan Lombrana | February 14, 2020

A luxury yacht owned by hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb damaged a pristine reef atoll in Belize near the famous Great Blue Hole, a popular diving site.

The 200-foot (61 meter) Samadhi, owned by Third Point founder Loeb, was filmed last Sunday anchored at Belize’s Lighthouse Reef Atoll. A spokesperson said Loeb was not in the vessel at the time. The Financial Times first reported the incident and said there would be an official investigation.

A spokesperson for Belize’s Department of the Environment told the FT that the vessel had damaged the area.

“As a life-long surfer and someone who loves the ocean, I was horrified to hear about this incident in Belize,” Loeb said in a statement. “We promptly contacted the Belize Audubon Society (a conservation group) and are committed to working together to restore the reef.”

Loeb acquired the Samadhi in 2013 from banker and former Citigroup Chief Executive Office Sandy Weill. The vessel is offered for charter on several websites, with a starting price of $360,000 per week.

While on a charter trip, the yacht was anchored on a patch of sand off the coast of Belize and the anchor was inadvertently dragged onto coral, according to an emailed statement by Wright Maritime Group, the company managing safety at the vessel. The company will be collaborating with local environmental groups on the remediation and conservation of local reefs in the area, the statement said.

The Belize barrier reef is a Unesco World Heritage site and the largest of its kind in the northern hemisphere, and was described by Charles Darwin as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies.”

Photograph: A Nurse Shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) is seen at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve coral reef in the outskirts of San Pedro village, in Ambergris Cay, Belize, on June 7, 2018. Photo credit: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images.

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