Diesel fuel, other hazards removed from US Navy ship


The US Embassy on Monday said the US Navy had removed all potential environmental hazards, including 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel, from the ship USS Guardian which ran aground on the Tubbataha Reefs on Jan. 17.

In a statement, the embassy said a US Navy-led salvage team had taken out the bulk of the fuel oil and materials that “could pose environmental risks, such as paint, solvents and lubricants” from the mine countermeasures ship.

The diesel fuel had been “safely transferred” to a Malaysian tug-boat, Vos Apollo, that was contracted by the US Navy, and that  “controlled de-fueling” operations were completed on Saturday.

“No fuel has leaked since the grounding,” the embassy said.

It said experts were working on a plan to salvage the vessel after reinforcing its hull “with Kevlar lines in an effort to reduce the strain that the ship sustains due to wave action.”

The embassy said that it was awaiting the arrival on Feb. 1 of two heavy lift ship-borne cranes which it had contracted to support the salvage operations.

“The US Navy in the meantime, continues to remove material from the ship, to assess and manage structural issues and to prepare the Guardian to be safely removed, all the while seeking to protect the natural environment of Tubbataha Reef,” it said.

The embassy also said the crew of the Guardian were temporarily transferred to nearby support vessels as a safety precaution and 69 sailors were sent to its base in Sasebo, Japan.

Remaining on the scene near the Tubbataha Reefs in order to work with the recovery team were the Guardian’s commanding officer and other technical experts from among the crew.

The embassy said the US Navy was investigating the incident. “All relevant factors will be looked at during the course of the investigation, and the proximate cause of the incident will be made at a later date,’’ it said.

The ship ran aground while transiting through the Sulu Sea en route to Indonesia after a port call on Puerto Princesa.

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  • Joe Kano

    Samantala, it’s looking more and more like Tubbataha ranger boss Songco may have been badly mistaken when she publicly accused the Guardian crew of ignoring a warning from rangers before the ship struck the reef.

    Was any such warning given?

    What, specifically, was the warning, if any?

    Did she have any specific authority to unilaterally file a complaint with the US embassy afterwards, or did she undermine and usurp the authority of the PH national government in doing so? Does PH government even care?

    If she was wrong, shouldn’t she apologize for recklessly inflaming this incident and directly inserting herself into diplomatic affairs?

    If she won’t, should she be sacked?

    The truth will come out eventually, if only because the US Navy will quietly conduct its own thorough investigation, without all the palabas that so often seems to pollute certain other inquiries.

  • Butuan


  • Butuan

    US ship has it’s own agenda why they’re on that location.  Ship wreck is only a perfect alibi for them to be able to stayed on that specific location for long.  They have retrieved something valuable.  

    An advance ship with an advance tech and crew on board can go wrong/got lost?  Think about it! 

    • Joe Kano

      Obviously, a flying saucer from mars landed in the middle of Tubbataha atoll and the US Navy went to meet them and plan how to steal your medication again.

      Get real.

    • Greenbaum

      Maybe they wanted to take a vacation and couldn’t afford the resort prices, so they parked the boat on the knoll and went fishing and swimming. lol

      That makes as much sense as what you said.

      Are you serious???! Are you drunk.Your statement makes no sense at all. You have no facts to back up your assumption and therefore you come off as spiting propaganda.

  • Marlou Wang

    Dapat ba tayong magpasalamat kay big brother samantalang nagdudulot sila ng paninira sa kalikasan at ginawa tayong kobeta?

  • sh1seadad

    I’m sure there will be a good reason this accident took place. People need to just wait and stop listing to all the anti American leftist making such a big deal of this accident.  

    • Joseph

      Initial reports were that the Capt was very arrogant to the Phil Coast Guard. Coupled with faulty maps, it was only a matter of time.

    • Butuan

      This is not about anti-American.  This is about JUSTICE! 

      • Joe Kano

        No, it’s about anti-American propaganda, opportunist nonsense, environmentalist-come-lately-ism, warped priorities, and colonial mentality.

        The US will act responsibly regardless of and despite all this unnecessary noise and posturing. And PH will continue to wreck the rest of its environment with all manner of pollution and destructive activities while all the militants and politicians sit around with their thumbs in their behinds.

  • Daniel Nielsen

    march 3 2009 chinese cargo ship ran aground near talisay city cebu on lagunais protected reef. half of the reef was destroyed. they were warned but keep going. the captain was fine 5000 pisos. then during the night the ship disappeared without paying damages.2005 green peace was fines for runnig into and damaging the corals at tubbataha reef. its hard to find these stories because like the feeding frenzy going on now they werent in the papers but a short time.yes it is anti american.

    • Joe Kano

      Calling all “environmentalists!”

      Ano, natutulog ba kayo?

  • Daniel Nielsen

    the green peace fines were 7000 dollars

    • Joe Kano

      Greenpeace should have paid much more, and the environmentalist hypocrites who are shrieking so loudly now should have been more vigilant then.

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