Crane ship to extract USS Guardian arrives

Posted at 02/03/13 2:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The crane ship from Singapore that will help extract the USS Guardian from Tubbataha Reef in Palawan arrived in the Philippines on Sunday.

The Philippine Coast Guard welcomed the high-lifting crane ship in a port in Puerto Princesa City, which immediately underwent an inspection by the Bureau of Customs.

According to the salvage plan laid out by the US Navy, the crane ship SMIT Borneo will leave for Tubbataha tonight, and the dismantling of the minesweeper will begin this Wednesday.

Captain Oscar Idona, commanding officer of BRP Pampanga, however, said it is possible that the dismantling of the USS Guardian won’t be finished until March since no ships could come near it due to big waves.

The minesweeper ship ran aground on January 17 at the heritage site, destroying at least 1,000 square meters of coral reefs. – from a repot by Dennis Datu, dzMM