Today the United States ambassador to the Philippines apologized for the grounding of the U.S.S. Guardian on a reef located in a marine sanctuary. He stated that he “wished to convey to the Philippine government and people his profound regret over the grounding of the U.S.S. Guardian on Tubbataha Reef.”
The area of reef struck by the ship was described as a “pristine coral reef” that houses more than 350 species of coral and over 500 species of fish. It is estimated that more or less 1,000 square meters of coral reef were damaged as a result of the accident.
At this time three options are being considered by the United States Navy in dealing with the grounded Guardian. These options include dragging the ship from the reef, lifting the ship off of the reef, and the final option is to cut the vessel into several pieces. Currently they are trying to lighten the ship by removing equipment and fuel.
Later on today, representatives from the US Navy will meet with a salvage operator in Singapore to discuss their options and plan a course of action for the removal of the U.S.S. Guardian from the site without causing further damage.
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