US Navy Minesweeper Avenger class, USS Guardian, ran aground on a coral reef, the Tubbataha reef, in the Philippines on Thursday, January 17, 2013, while heading to Indonesia and East Timor for military exercises from a port call in Subic Bay. All its crew have abandoned the ship already after a series of failed tries to set the ship back away from the reef.
The US Navy has apologized for the grounding of its ship in the World Heritage site but Philippine authorities said they have fined them for the illegal entry and the damages it brought to the site.
Authorities from Tubbataha management revealed that its marine rangers told the ship’s crews that they’re entering a no-navigation area and heading to the Tubbataha National Park, but they were ignored.
The US Navy Minesweeper is the high-tech navy ship designed to destroy seamines of the enemies. But even if it’s a sophisticated navy ship, its officials blamed the ship’s inaccurate maps as the cause of the crash.
Due to the damages suffered by the ship and the further damage that it will cause to the reef, US Navy authorities decided to salvage it and lift it parts by parts. The ship will not be reassembled again, and its crews have taken over already a USS Warrior
On Saturday, March 2013, US authorities announced the completion of the salvage operation of the ship after the last part of the hull, the stern section was lifted to the barge through the M/V Jascon 25, a US Navy contracted crane vessel.
It was noted that since the grounding up to the salvage operation, there has been no fuel leaked.
The Tubataha reef, on the other hand, is the UNESCO world’s heritage site, a marine sanctuary and a tourist’s attraction, found in the Sulu sea near Palawan islands in the Philippines.
USS Guardian at Tubbataha Reef Photos
Note: Photos posted here are collected from different websites. We don’t claim ownership of them.