USS Guardian Minesweeper still stuck at Tubbataha Reef

The minesweeper Guardian remains stuck on the Tubbataha Reefs in the western Philippines, but salvage teams have managed to board the ship several times to determine the vessel’s condition, U.S. Navy officials said Jan. 22.

“Salvage teams have been on and off the ship,” a Navy official in Washington said. “They’re not getting long windows when the weather breaks, but they’ve gotten some people on board to assess the situation.”

The ship, which is stuck on a reef at the Tubbataha natural marine park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, had just completed a port call at Subic Bay in the western Philippines when the grounding occurred last Thursday.

While the assessments continue, Navy salvors are working to figure how to remove the ship from the reef. It will be at least another week and maybe longer, the official said, before that decision is made.

The Navy still hopes to get the Guardian off the reef and return her to service.

“There are no plans to abandon the ship right now,” the official said.

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