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.

Palawan river tops 7 Wonders list

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park has topped the first phase of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported that the Philippines has evidently secured the lead in the latest online race for the new wonder list of natural sites.

“The good news is clear: the Philippines bested all other nominees and has secured the eminent spot in the New 7 Wonders of Nature race, with Puerto Princesa Subterranean River first in the rankings,” the DOT said.

Aside from the underground river, other Philippine nominees in the Top 10 are Tubbataha Reef (No. 4) and the Chocolate Hills of Bohol (No. 5).

>>Read Full Article