Jordan on Tuesday detained a cargo ship arriving from Egypt that was towed away after it strayed close to a natural coral reef reserve near the beach of the Red Sea port of Aqaba, port officials said.
Any possible environmental damage caused by the drifting of the vessel, named Lotus, away from its route and into shallow waters near the 7-km-long marine reserve was being assessed, they said.
“Its route has been corrected and it has been towed to the pier and is safe,” a port official told Reuters, adding that the ship was banned from leaving the port pending an investigation into why it strayed from its route and any damage caused.
The cargo vessel had arrived earlier on Tuesday to load a shipment of potash from the city’s fertilizer pier, an official said.
The city of Aqaba’s pristine coral reef – with its many species of fish and dozens of formations that lie in shallow waters – is a main tourist attraction at Jordan’s only outlet to the sea.