US Navy mulls dismantling ship in Tubbataha

Posted at 01/24/13 11:52 AM

Salvor arrives tonight to extricate minesweeper

MANILA, Philippines - The United States Navy said a salvor will be arriving tonight to assess the extrication of a minesweeper that ran aground in Tubbataha last week.

Rear Admiral Thomas Carney, logistics group commander for the Western Pacific, said they plan to lift the USS Guardian as a whole. If push comes to shove, they may dismantle the ship piece by piece, he said.

The salvor carries with it additional salvage equipment.

Two crane ships coming from Singapore are also expected to arrive on the 30th or 31st of January.

He said they are still assessing the structural integrity of the ship to determine if lifting it whole is possible. He added there is no definite time table yet, but they are looking into a window of one or two weeks once extrication begins.

Where the remains of USS Guardian ends up is still not certain. 

Carney also said he has received notice the Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board issued last Tuesday, which cites the violations of the US Navy.

He said that he had forwarded the letter to the proper US channels and that they will respond to the letter. – by Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News