End of USS Guardian dismantling seen

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The bow of the US minesweeper Guardian is lifted for placing on a barge during shipbreaking operation by a Singaporean salvor company to remove the ship from the protected Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea. The Guardian ran aground on the reef in January, and has to be broken up to save the reef from further damage. PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

MANILA, Philippines—The salvage team dismantling the USS Guardian has completed the cutting and lifting of the bow, or forward section, of the US Navy minesweeper and its transfer to a barge, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

PCG spokesperson Lt. Commander Armand Balilo, also chief of its public affairs office, said on Wednesday the team successfully completed on March 26 the bow cutting and lifting operations.

In a text message to the INQUIRER, Balilo said preparations were underway for the cutting of the remaining portions of the hull, or outer shell, as well as the superstructure of the 68-meter vessel that has been stuck on Tubbataha Reef since Jan. 17.

Citing good weather at the reef, Balilo said the salvage operation was expected to continue through Holy Week.

By Easter Sunday Task Force Tubbataha (TFT) expects the Guardian dismantling operation to be completed by March 31, Easter Sunday, he said.

The operation began on Feb. 22 but was suspended at least four times due to bad weather.

The PCG search-and-rescue ship BRP Romblon has been closely monitoring the operation.

Aside from the Romblon, seven other vessels are in the vicinity of the reef—the US Navy supply-ships Safeguard and Wally Schirra; the crane vessels Jascon 25 and SMIT Borneo; the barge Seabridge S-700, and the tugs Intrepid and Archon Tide.

In an earlier text message to the INQUIRER, Balilo had said the “weather has been very favorable to continue the salvage operation,” citing “wind speeds of 7 to 12 knots and waves of 0.3 to 1.2 meters in the Tubbataha Reef area.”

The salvors failed to meet the original March 23 deadline for completion of the operation.

“March 23 was just the target date set by the team to complete the task, but of course they had to consider so many factors, including weather disturbances and other obstacles. They would have wanted to finish the operation at the soonest possible time,” Balilo said.

“There was no mention in the salvage plan about the salvors taking a Holy Week break so we will continue working. They have been working even on Sunday except when there was unfavorable weather conditions,” said Commodore Enrico Efren Evangelista, head of both TFT and PCG-Palawan district.

Evangelista said that more than meeting a deadline, the primary consideration was the safety of the workers dismantling the ship and the prevention of further damage to the reef, which is considered a World Heritage Site. With a report from Tina G. Santos

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  • INQ_reader

    american stupidity – day 71 on 3/28/13

    • Crazy_horse101010

      inq stupidiy until the second coming of christ. iq of a tapeworm and im insulting the tapeworm

      • INQ_reader

        Please go back to Grade 1, for your English is horrible.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        ive been speaking it longer than you commie azz lover is that better do you understand now tapeworm..

      • INQ_reader

        Look who’s talking? You shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you loans for your wasteful society called America. You ingrate!

      • Crazy_horse101010

        there loan is 7 percent of the loans in america according to the american thinker and the foundry america owes most of its money to itself so ingrate yourself commie did you make a loan to them that you are worried racists if you didnt then its none of your business america has a bigger loan from japan than china . nice try i love arguing with people who dont have a clue

      • Crazy_horse101010

        mean their loan

      • INQ_reader

        Where did you get the “7 percent” figure? According to US Treasury website, the yields for the last 5 years never got over 5%, and these are for 30-year bonds. You have to back your argument with facts.

        Where did you get the idea that america owes money from herself? Here is a news item to back my argument. It never differentiated between internal and external loan sources.

        “…Japan To Overtake China As The Biggest Creditor For The US

        Wes Goodman and Daniel Krger, Bloomberg | Oct. 16, 2012, 2:36 PM | 1,717 | 2

        Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) — China is poised to lose its place as the U.S.’s biggest creditor for the first time since the height of the financial crisis, blunting one of Mitt Romney’s favored attacks in the presidential campaign.

        Chinese holdings of Treasuries rose 0.1 percent this year through August to $1.15 trillion, Treasury Department data on international capital flows released today show. Japan, a stronger ally of the U.S., raised its stake by 6 percent to $1.12 trillion, on pace to top the list of foreign creditors by January…”

        Again, please improve your grammar.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        ps bite the big one commie

      • INQ_reader

        What you mean by commie is China, or one of the biggest creditor of loan-addicted Americans, right?

      • BIGButo

        stupid leftis

      • INQ_reader

        You ran out of argument, and now starts hitting the messenger.

    • kilawon(the return)

      yes sir ! the know it all pigs !

      • Crazy_horse101010

        jealous

  • BIGButo

    Not a big deal s h I t happens

  • rlo

    So where does the scrap go to? Any salvageable technology?

    • Crazy_horse101010

      engines maybe it was a old mine sweeper from what i understand so will probably be scrapped

      • Anqui

        The U.S. Navy never have old ships in Active Service. Some were recommissioned like the USS New Jersey during the Vietnam War, but fully refurbished inside-out.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        its supposed to be 20 years old. i know the history i lived through it

      • BIGButo

        It has been scrapped and removed from the active ship list

  • rlo

    we really should revive our shipbuilding industry.

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