Plans for removal of grounded US ship to be finalized Saturday – DOTC

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MANILA, Philippines—Plans to remove the stranded American minesweeper USS Guardian from the Tubbataha Reef are expected to be finalized Saturday, with the private Singaporean salvage company instructed to prioritize minimizing further environmental damage.

The Department of Transportation and Communications said Task Force Tubbataha was working closely with the US Navy and SMIT Singapore Pte Ltd, which are both sending several vessels to help in the delicate operation.

The removal of the ship, however, is not expected to be done until January 30, when all vessels involved in the operation are scheduled to arrive at the site.

“Part of the salvage plan is to use a crane with high lifting capacity for the vertical removal of the stranded ship instead of just dragging it to avoid incurring more damage to the reef,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya said in a statement.

The DOTC said the US Navy would send a salvage vessel, the USNS Salvor, to the Sulu Sea on Saturday to aid in the removal.

SMIT Singapore, the company hired by the US Navy to lead the operation, would send SMIT Cyclone and SMIT Borneo. Both vessels are expected to arrive on January 30.

“They [US Navy, Philippine Navy and salvage company from Singapore] continued to secure top side of the ship, removed all small items and secured other items that were left behind,” Philippine Coast Guard commandant Rear Adm.  Rodolfo Isorena was quoted by the DOTC as saying.

Isorena said the removal of small items from the stranded ship was delayed for several hours from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Thursday due to erratic weather conditions.

US Navy personnel started to transfer USS Guardian items and its crew’s personal effects to another US Navy ship, USNS Mustin.

Another ship, Vos Apollo, was able to get into position and conducted partial defueling of the USS Guardian.

The stranded ship’s fuel tank was drained at a rate of 80 gallons per minute. It will take three defueling tanks to drain the USS Guardian. The DOTC said all salvage operations were still at the mercy of sea and weather conditions.

Earlier, the government’s inspection team assessed that approximately 1,000 square meters of corals were severely damaged due to the incident.

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  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    ang pagsira ng barko ng imperyalistang navy
    sa tubbataha

    ay singtulad ng

    pagsira ng imperyalistang u.s.
    sa bayan nating pilipinas

    u.s. – kastila war        1898
    pilipino – u.s. war        1899-1912         1+ million pilipinos died
    u.s. – japan war          ww2                  nasira pilipinas, 1 million pilipinos died
    u.s. – korea war         1951                 100+ pilipino casualties
    u.s. – vietnam war       1960s-70s        used philippines as staging area, pilipino casualties
    u.s. – tsina war           20??                modern weapons will result in higher casualties

    DEMOLISH VFA
    PALAYASIN MGA IMPERYALISTA

    ng hindi gawing bases ang bayan natin
    ng imperyalistang u.s.
    sa napipintong gerra nila
    kontra hegemonistang intsik

    magpalakas ng pro pilipino defense
    kasama mga kapit bayan natin

    para pigilin ang intsik switik sea grabbing

    • DakuAkongUtin

      Time for Pino Nation to revert back to Indo Malayo Empire, the mythical Champa Shztdom.

  • INQ_reader

     US not coming to PH aid vs China

    By Julie M. Aurelio, Norman Bordadora

    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    1:29 am | Sunday, June 12th, 2011

    The United States yesterday said it will not side with any party in the Spratlys conflict, which is to say that the Philippines’ most powerful ally will not be coming to its aid should its spat with China escalate into a shooting war.

    The US Embassy made this clear yesterday in reaction to a Malacañang statement earlier yesterday expressing confidence that Washington would honor its commitment under the two countries’ Mutual Defense Treaty to come to the aid of a beleaguered ally.

  • Hey_Dudes

    In a way,  this incident has once more demonstrated our inability to respond to a major situation and it is embarrassing.  The U.S. Navy had to contract a Singaporean firm to do the towing for them?  If only we have local firms with the right equipment, it could have provided the firm a much needed business boost while at the same time not make our country look so helpless?

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