Grounded ship took 100-foot chunk of reef
The grounded bulk freighter Clipper Lasco that was stuck offshore at Fort Lauderdale for nearly six days cut a 100-foot piece from the coral reef, prompting calls for a review of how commercial vessels approach Port Everglades.
Preliminary underwater inspections of the site started Thursday, with 10 divers from the Broward County Environmental Protection Department, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission inspecting the site, a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said. The inspection revealed a 20-foot-wide swath about 100 feet long, located about three-quarters of a mile offshore.
Once damage is assessed by official agencies, a claim could be filed against the ship owner to seek money to repair damages.
The 645-foot vessel was carrying 30,000 tons of bauxite ore from France to Port Everglades. The Bahamian-flag vessel is owned by Colas Lasco, which has offices in the Bahamas.
The report said the assessment is complicated by the fact that another ship hit the same site two years ago, leading to a $3.2 million fine.
The Clipper Lasco was the second ship to hit the reef that runs parallel to Fort Lauderdale Beach this year, and the 12th large ship to hit the reef since 1994.
A separate report in the Miami Herald quoted Ken Banks from the county Environmental Protection Department a saying that the U.S. Coast Guard, environmentalists and state agencies are looking into ways to redesign the Port Everglades anchorage to reduce the risk of accidents.