Tubbataha Reef Salvaging Operations Begin, Anchor Already Lowered Down
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 7, 2013 4:00 PM EST
The salvaging operations on the stranded minesweeper USS Guardian off the Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines has started on Wednesday, with the crane ship Smit Borneo finally allowed to sink its anchor into the Sulu Sea.
The Smit Borneo will drop a total of four anchors 10 meters away from the protected area. The two at the bow will be lowered 800 meters down into the sea, while the two at the stern will drop at 300 meters.
But the actual salvaging operation on the grounded US vessel will start on either Sunday or Monday. The operations may take two months to complete, or until April.
"With good weather, maybe the salvaging can start by Sunday or Monday," Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant, said.
However, in an official notice published on its Web site, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) noted the salvage operations on the 23-year-old $227-million vessel is expected to be completed only by December 2013.
Enrico Efren Evangelista, Philippine Coast Guard Palawan District commander, noting the earlier apprehensions of concerned sectors regarding the lowering of an anchor into the protected area, said the operation was approved to go.
"The operation was allowed after concerned government agencies, including the Tubbataha Protected Areas Management Board (TPAMB), approved the salvage plan presented by Smit Borneo," Mr Evangelista, also chair of Task Force Tubbataha, said.
He likewise pointed out that the TPAMB issued a manifest stating its approval to the plan to lower the anchors far from the damaged reef.
"Ten meters (from the edge of the reef) is already a very safe distance," he said.
Once the minesweeper has finally been extracted from the protected Tubbataha Reef area, divers will again be sent in to assess the overall damage made to the corals.
According to the state-run Philippines News Agency, the grounding of the USS Guardian has damaged an estimated 4,000 square meters or about 43,000 square feet of the reef.
Both the U.S. Navy and the Philippines Coast Guard are investigating the officials responsible for the unfortunate incident.
Leila de Lima, Philippine justice secretary, had said on Tuesday that she is just waiting for the results of the ongoing probe before any legal action is decided and taken against the officials of the U.S. vessel.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- Iran Leader Asks Muslims to Supply Arms to Palestine, Calls Israel ‘Rapacious Wolf’
- Australia Asked National Media to Suppress Multi-National Corruption Case: WikiLeaks
- El Niño Update: 2014 Threat Easing, ‘Unlikely to be a Strong Event’ – Australia BoM
- “Women should not laugh in public” - Turkish Deputy PM says
- Opinion Poll in New Zealand Shows National Party Far Ahead in Popular Support
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Alpha Leaks Online: Release Date, Five Features to Wait for New Smart Phone
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: Schedule and How to Install
- Photos of Motorola Moto X+1 Prototype and Specs Leak Online, Release Date, Four Fresh Features Revealed
- Sony Xperia Z3: Release Date, Five Features to Expect from New Android Smart Phone
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8