MANILA, Philippines—The salvage operations for the grounded USS Guardian at the Tubbataha Reefs is already more than 50 percent finished, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
PCG Palawan District commander Commodore Enrico Efren Evangelista on Friday reported the progress in their cutting and dismantling works on the US minesweeper ship.
“We are right on schedule,” said Evangelista, who expressed optimism that they can still meet the March 23 deadline.
He added they were almost finished removing the engines from the US Navy ship and would soon start working on the hull.
Evangelista said the good weather had made it favorable for them to proceed and make progress in the salvaging operations.
The cut off sections and the debris from the USS Guardian were transferred to the Archon Tide via the crane ship MT Jascon 25. The Archon Tide had been bringing the parts to a second crane ship MT SMIT Borneo, that in turn transfers the materials to a waiting barge S-7000.
The USS Guardian left Subic on Jan. 15 and ran aground at the atoll on Jan. 17 as it was traveling toward Indonesia.