Navy: Ship run aground is a complete loss


In this Jan. 22, 2013 photo released by the Philippine Coast Guard, coast guard divers approach the USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper, to assess the situation after it ran aground last week off Tubbataha Reef. AP

HONOLULU — The U.S. Navy plans to dismantle a minesweeper that ran aground on a coral reef off the Philippines because the ship is a complete loss and because removing it intact would cause more damage to the reef and the ship’s hull, a spokesman said Wednesday.

There’s also a chance the USS Guardian might break up or sink if crews tried to remove it without taking it apart first, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Darryn James said.

Limiting damage to the coral, which is part of a national marine park, is important to the Navy, James said.

“We really do care about being good stewards of the environment,” he said by telephone from Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor.

The Navy has presented the ship removal plan to the Philippines, which is reviewing it.

“We’re working very closely with the Philippine coast guard, with their navy and their government personnel. We’ve been grateful for their support as we all work together to remove Guardian and minimize further damage to the reef,” James said.

It’s expected to take over a month to dismantle the Guardian, which ran aground before dawn on Jan. 17.

Crews have already removed 15,000 gallons (56,780 liters) of fuel from the ship. They’ve also taken off hundreds of gallons (liters) of lubricating oil and paint. They’ll be removing human wastewater and other materials that could harm the environment, James said.

The U.S. Navy is hiring floating cranes to help with the removal. A contractor in Singapore is sending the cranes, which should arrive on site in a few days.

The Navy originally said the Guardian would be lifted by crane onto a barge and taken to a shipyard. But now the Navy says the ship is “beyond economical repair.”

No one was injured when the ship ran aground at the reef in the Tubbataha National Marine Park. The park is a World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea, about 400 miles (644 kilometers) southwest of Manila.

The Guardian was on its way to Indonesia after making a rest and refueling stop in Subic Bay, a former American naval base west of Manila.

Vice Adm. Scott Swift, the U.S. 7th Fleet Commander based in Yokosuka, Japan, has ordered an investigation into the grounding.

The incident damaged at least 1,000 square meters, or 1,200 square yards, of coral reef, according to an initial, conservative estimate by the Philippine coast guard.

Angelique Songco, park manager of Tubbataha Reef, the damage is the worst ever in the sanctuary since the park was established in 2001.

The Navy and the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas, have apologized for the grounding and promised to cooperate with its close ally.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said last week that the U.S. Navy must explain how the ship got off course. He said the Navy would face fines for damaging the environment.

The Navy paid the state of Hawaii $8.5 million to settle claims after a much larger vessel, the USS Port Royal guided missile cruiser, damaged thousands of square yards, or thousands of square meters, of coral when it ran aground off Pearl Harbor in 2009.

Reattaching more than 5,000 broken coral colonies and otherwise restoring that reef cost the Navy more than $6.5 million.

The Guardian is 224 feet long, less than half the length of the Port Royal.

The Navy last dismantled a grounded ship in 1971, after the USS Regulus ran into trouble when a typhoon lashed Hong Kong, James said.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Marshall

    Dapat magbayad ang US ng  1 Billion dollars..Barya lang sa America ito..walang katapat na halaga ang National and World treasure na nasira….

    • Ganymede

      Tama barya lang yun fine sa US eh

  • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

    Make it into an artificial reef na lang. Then lets say quits.

    • WeAry_Bat

      but the Chinese might sottocopy the ship if special wood, special riveting, special metal, top secret propeller…

      • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        That is a risk the US should be willing to take. Otherwise pay a hefty sum to remove everything.

  • Ganymede

    Walanghiya itong Guardian.. ang dapat na i-sweep yun mines.. hindi corals!

  • Daniel Nielsen

    im glad to see all these people who care for the coral. ive been watching the coral being blown to hell for 15 years and not one person spoke up did anything to stop it. i never have seen any planet savers show up at samar leyete cebu negros and palawan where thousand of hectres have been destroyed does this i wont be alone watching tne destruction.there will be plane loads of people here to help stop. yeah right actions speak louder then words

  • joboni96

    1. huliin ang mga u.s. navy crew on watch, at kasohan

    2. kompiskahin ang barko for the philippine navy

    3. pagbayarin ng $10 million to be used by philippine navy
    to buy surplus european corvettes

    4. formal apology from the imperialist government


    • bugoybanggers

      6. Papasukin ang China sa Pilipinas
      8. Bigyan ng kalayaan ang Kabisayaan at Mindanao.
      9. Huwag pakialaman ng mga GOBIERNOng taga LUZON na sakop na ng CHINA ang pamumuno ng SABAH.

      • joboni96

        collaborator ng imperyalista ito

        bilis ng reaction time ng
        cia call center agent

      • ordinaryo

        joboni96 dapat pangalan mo joboti, kasi nagpapajobot ka sa mga amo mong komonista. ano nasarapan ka ba o tanga ka lang. hahahaha.

      • joboni96

        pilipino ang amo ko

        imperyalistang u.s. ang amo mo


      • sh1seadad

        You are very brainwashed by the communists

      • joboni96

        you u.s. navy traitor
        can never understand the

        astig pro pilipino mindset

      • Crazy_horse101010

        he has to have a brain to wash first

      • joboni96

        angat naman ako ng kunti
        sa kabayong praning

      • Joe Kano


      • joboni96

        vfa ang i DEMOLISH
        pati kolonisadong utak mo

      • sh1seadad

        silly utak communist brainwashed

      • joboni96

        utak traydor

      • bugoybanggers

        Kawawa ka bata.. taga Mindanao ako. Dapat matuwa ka dahil matutupad na ang layunin mo na ang LUZON mapaCHINA na. Kami huwag ninyong pakialaman, sumama na kayo sa mga INSTIK mga taga LUZON (ang LUZON ay talagang para sa CHINA). Mga CORRUPT, mga mayayabang, mga mahangin! Doon na kayo sa BEIJING mag rally.

      • joboni96


        das a las op nonsense

    • Daniel Nielsen

      imperialist government. the vatican nothing to do with this

      • joboni96

        ang u.s. ang imperyalista

        ang vatican hidden empire
        si padre damaso vatican ang loyalty

    • f5r

      paglusob ng china si joboni96 ang ilagay sa frontline…akbayan siguro ito

      • joboni96

        talagang frontline ako

        ma intsik switik man o
        imperyalista man

        ikaw traydor ng imperyalista

    • 7_mgawalanghiyakayo

      mauna kanang lumayas basura ka sa pinas!!!!!

      • joboni96

        buti nakalayas ka na

    • Joe Kano

       Bawal umihi dito.

      • joboni96

        mas bawal pangit

  • Emmanuel S. Esber

    For the damages to our reef, i wished the US government will at least gave a free gift of at least 5  new modern warship for our Navy, to be use against the neo-imperialist PRC Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

  • goldilock

    Ask the US to let Philippines have it since it is a complete loss. The sonar equipment and other equipment could help Philippine Navy or Coast Guard response to disaster and other emergency rapidly.

    You get: Sonar and other rangefinder stuff and can communicate with the 7th fleet.

    Philippine secretary of the Navy or Higher AFP personell must ask while the US lawmakers is in the country. Tip: It’s a gift.

  • joboni96

    mga cia call center agents

    Joe Kano
    Daniel Nielsen

    • Crazy_horse101010

      jobon stupid child

      • joboni96

        stupider crazy praningh

      • Crazy_horse101010

        poor jealous baby sob sob go change your diaper

      • joboni96

        hehehe ubos na
        si praning

    • sh1seadad

      Are you in Cebu?

      • joboni96

        ngano dong
        dinhe barko de imperyalista nimo

        maga labhanan ka na lang

      • sh1seadad

        My clothes have been washed and are very clean. How about you did you wash your clothes joboni96
        Communist leftis trader!

      • joboni96

        yong sa mga amo mo pa
        sandamukal pa

    • bugoybanggers

      Call center? Hindi ko alam yan nasa BUNDOK ako nag aararo. Hinahanda ko ang bukid ko para kung magkaGYERA may makain kami. Hindi tulad mong taga LUZON na iiyak nalang at hihingi ng tulong sa KANO. hahaha, kunwari ka pang kalaban ng Kano pero ikaw ay dakilang TRAYDOR ng bayan mo. Lolo mo una pang sumuko laban sa mga HAPON. Galing ka sa semilyang dapat sa kubeta nalang inilaglag. Ang daming tulad mo boy, mga taga LUZON! Sama na kasi kayo sa CHINA. Huwag ninyong pakialaman ang buhay namin dito sa MIndanao at Kabisayaan.. sasama kami sa MALAYSIA. Maunlad na, respetado pa ng buong MUNDO. Hindi tulad ng PILIPINAS mong binababoy na, binubully na OKAY lang! hahahha..kawawa.

      • joboni96


        kolani pa rin

      • sh1seadad

        Communist trader

      • joboni96

        nabobo ka na naman
        oxymoron yan

        no surprise your bosses
        destroyed tubbataha

  • opinyonlangpo

    What will be the penalty now that they are going to make a shipyard out of the precious Tubbataha marine reserve? At least they are giving a hint that they are going to pay in millions of dollars. More money for senate bonus or MOOOOOoo. . .

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