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Fri 19 May 2006
Sipadan reefs damaged
Category : malaysia
"Sipadan - Tragic Incident." By Antonella Ferrari. FiNS blog, 16th May 2006.
Photo from article.
"An enormous steel barge carrying thousands of tonnes of coarse gravel, sand, steel tubes, iron mesh, prime movers, a large bulldozer and a gigantic crane — which had incredibly been allowed to anchor right in front of Sipadan’s legendary dropoff before unloading its cargo on the supposedly protected island — was pushed against the reef by wind, ending up beached on the island like some monstrous whale.
In the process of being beached, the barge scraped clean thousands of years of nature’s delicate work between the old pier and Barracuda Point. The barge’s flat steel hull wiped corals away like a giant knife slicing through butter, leaving in its wake hundreds of square metres of unnaturally flat limestone, and a veritable wall of coral and debris piled up against the beach."
"Chong Considering Closing Sipadan." Bernama, 18 May 2006.
"When asked how the barge could sail to the protected island, he [Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat] said the contractor who was involved in the project was not given any approval by Sabah Parks to use such a huge vessel to transport the building materials or equipment.
Instead, the company was given the approval to use only a small boat known as "kumpit" locally to ship the building materials there.
Unfortunately, the officer of Sabah Parks who was in charge of the island went for a meeting in Kota Kinabalu for two days, leaving his subordinates and staff who did not have the guns or military force to stop the barge which suddenly appeared at the drop-off point, Chong said, explaining why the authorities could not stop the barge from entering Sipadan waters."