Friday, February 1, 2013

USS Guardian (MCM-5) off Tubbataha Reef

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena said it would be better for the environment if salvage teams tasked to extricate the USS Guardian (MCM-5) off Tubbataha Reef would lift rather than tow the stricken vessel from the grounding site.

He added that the option is very feasible for the US Navy as it has large ships equipped with very powerful cranes and lifting platforms.

Isorena said lifting is the kinder option as it would not damage the reef further.

Retrieval efforts for the USS Guardian is being stalled by heavy waves and inclement weather in the area.

The PCG was tasked to form a fact-finding team to look into the maritime mishap.

Last Jan. 17, the USS Guardian ran aground at Tubbataha Reef, a protected site.

The US Navy said it is looking into the possibility faulty chart data could have misled the minesweeper.

But on Jan. 21, the Tubbataha Management Office head Angelique Songco said the USS Guardian's crew ignored communications from her rangers.

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