The US Navy has announced their plans to dismantle the USS Guardian, a $277 million dollar minesweeper that ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef, a protected World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea, Philippines.
The salvage teams had originally hoped to use a crane to lift the grounded ship up instead of just dragging it and incurring more damage to the reef. Inspection teams have assessed that approximately 1,000 square meters (about a quarter acre) of coral reef had been severely damaged due to the incident.
From The Huffington Post: The US Navy said on Wednesday that it would dismantle a minesweeper that ran aground on a coral reef in the Philippines after carefully studying all options on how to remove the damaged ship.
The navy spokesman James Stockman said dismantling the USS Guardian was determined to be the solution that would involve the least damage to the Tubbataha Reef, a protected marine sanctuary where the ship got stuck 17 January.
He said the Philippine coastguard was reviewing the plan, but gave no other details.
The navy had said previously that the ship would be lifted by crane on to a barge and taken to a shipyard, but apparently the damage was too extensive and it will have to be cut up and removed in pieces. Stockman gave no time frame for the operation. Read more here…
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee