Latest Stories

Dismantling of US warship resumes


In a photo released by the U.S. Navy, the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian sits aground in this Jan. 22, 2013 file photo on the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea in the Philippines. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A salvage team contracted by the US Navy resumed the dismantling of the USS Guardian after the weather cleared in the Sulu Sea Thursday afternoon, successfully lifting the minesweeper’s aft section and transferring it to a crane ship, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

PCG spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo  said in a text message to the Inquirer that from the crane ship Jascon 25, the aft section of the minesweeper was to be moved shortly afterward to the  Seabridge.

Balilo said the salvage operations, suspended because of bad weather on Tuesday, resumed immediately after the weather cleared Thursday afternoon around the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea, where the US Navy minesweeper ran aground last Jan. 17.

The salvage crew had completed the rigging of the aft section or Level 1 on Tuesday afternoon. Level 1 was originally a part of the Guardian’s funnel, which was earlier removed along with the vessel’s mast.

Balilo told the Inquirer earlier Thursday that salvage team planned to now work “even at night to make up for the lost time.”

“The salvage team has requested for the delivery of various lighting equipment to be installed aboard the USS Guardian so they could work even at night,” he said.

Balilo, chief of the PCG public affairs office, said that although the weather on Thursday morning was better than in previous days, sea conditions posed a danger to the salvage personnel.

Citing a report from Commodore Efren Evangelista, PCG-Palawan district commander, Balilo said the waves in the reef area Thursday morning were up to two meters high and prevailing winds had speeds of up to 25 knots.

“The team won’t take the risk of resuming work if weather conditions are still unfavorable, but once they improve, salvage personnel will try to work 24/7 to make up for the lost time,” he quoted Evangelista as saying.

The USS Guardian ran aground on the reef on Jan. 17. Salvage work began on February 22 but was suspended twice last week and again two days ago.

Last weekend, the vessel’s bridge deck was lifted and transferred to the barge Seabridge S-700 by the crane ship Jascon 25, the lead vessel tasked with dismantling the Guardian.

Seven other ships, including the PCG search-and-rescue vessel BRP Romblon, are in the vicinity. The other ships are the US Navy ship Wally Schirra, USS Salvor, the crane ship SMIT Borneo, the tugs Archon Tide and Intrepid, and the Malaysian salvage ship Trabajador 1.

The 35-meter Romblon (SAR 3503), commissioned in 2003, is tasked by the Coast Guard to closely monitor the salvage operations. It replaced the BRP Pampanga, which early this week was dispatched by the PCG to assist the crew of the MV Tan An Hai after the Chinese cargo ship encountered engine trouble in the vicinity of Tubbataha Reef.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Environment , Global Nation , salvage operations , Tubbataha Reef , USS Guardian , weather

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000164612447 Sean Erik Yazon

    Instead of scrapping a fully functional ship, why cant PNOY ask for the ship from the US instead as payment for damages. that would seem fair dont you think? a $277M ( as per donald trump JR) ship as payment. A fine addition to our aging navy. =)

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

    compiskahin na yang mga parte nyan
    at dalhin sa sangley for pn use

    hanapin na rin mga u.s. sailors
    at kasohan na

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Sports

  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace