US Navy ship removed from Tubbataha Reef


In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 and released by the Philippine Coast Guard in Manila, on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, the bow of the USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper, is lifted by a crane during a continuing salvage operation off Tubbataha Reef, a World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea, 640 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of Manila, Philippines. The ship ran aground before dawn on Jan. 17, damaging coral reef. AP Photo/Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA, Philippines—Salvage teams on Saturday removed the last piece of a US Navy ship that was stuck on a Unesco World Heritage-listed coral reef in the Philippines for more than 10 weeks, the coast guard said.

The stern of the USS Guardian was lifted off the Tubbataha Reef after the 68-meter (223-foot) vessel was sliced into portions for easier removal, Philippine Coast Guard spokeswoman Lieutenant Greanata Jude said.

Bad weather had earlier delayed the recovery operations but once the skies cleared, a salvage ship used a huge crane to lift the bow, the deck, the funnel and other pieces of the ship off the reef.

“The salvage ship will still remain in the area. After the lifting, they will clear the area of debris. It will take three days maximum,” Jude told Agence France-Presse.

The minesweeper ran aground on Tubbataha in a remote part of the Sulu Sea on January 17, damaging a section of the reef, a Unesco World Heritage site known for its rich marine life.

The incident sparked widespread condemnation across the Philippines, a former US colony.

The US government has apologized for the accident, which it initially blamed on faulty maps. The Philippines said it would impose fines.

Due to fears that towing it to deeper waters would inflict more damage on the reef, the US government agreed to scrap and dismantle the Guardian, which was worth about $277 million.

A team from the Philippine government and major universities has already been assembled to assess the damage caused when the ship ran aground, said Tubbataha Reef marine park superintendent Angelique Songco.

Under Philippine law, ships that run aground on Tubbataha are fined P24,000 ($585) for every square meter of damaged reef, she said.

She said the area of the reef damaged by the USS Guardian has been initially estimated at 4,000 square meters (43,055 square feet) but the assessment team will still check this.

“We will inspect the total damage to establish exactly what they have to pay,” Songco 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.

  • Billy Reyes

    you guys could have so much arrogance & shout to the whole world ” I am Proud to be Pinoy” but the truth is wither you like it or not our country is very poor. We are in the 3rd world level the reason is there is no more 4th world.
    If we accept the fact then its better for us to know our mistakes, what make us poor & help to change our country for a better future. So that in the future will earn the respect of the world if our country will become rich our military, economy & people.

  • $18209031

    Wasak na ang Tubbathaha !!

  • $18209031

    Sa susunod, ano naman ang mga maririnig natin with US involvement ? Rape cases na naman sa Subic ?

  • kasile

    Good news to the environment, bad for the newsmaker.

  • Albert Einstien

    ha ha tapos na misyon ang TAGAL na mailipat e pwede naman ilang oras lang yan pag gusto talaga alisin agad……..referree bet malaysia AF & RP afp takot din sila baka bigla sumugod sa malaysia ang china ky binangga na lang reef pr me excuse sila na nasa gitna ng malaysia at rp….ky di makalapit ang china sa sabah…pag alis nila pwede na mag-park ng CARRIER ang china sa SABAH…lalo na kung me LETTER galing sa sulu sultanate allowing them to dock…kasi ang pina-rent lang ng sultanate sa british at malaysia ay yun LUPA lng di KASAMA ang pangpang at dagat…..ang kano punta na sa gitna ng NK at SK naman…me reef din kaya doon…lol

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