In two days, a crane vessel is expected to arrive at Tubbataha Reef to help extract the U.S. Navy minesweeper that had been grounded into the reef.
The American Embassy in Manila has vowed the US government will extend the 'appropriate compensation' to the Tubbataha Reef that was damaged when its mine countermeasure ship USS Guardian ran aground on the precious World Heritage site on January 17.
This ship, the Jascon 25, is the second ship that had been enlisted to help in the salvage operations, the first being the SMIT Borneo, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The first ship was not able to push through with the salvage mission, due to the harsh waves that incapacitated the ship from properly taking anchor. The solution to the grounding problem was said to be a dismantling of the ship, reports The Wall Street Journal.
"For the meantime, Smith Borneo stops its operation including cutting parts of the Guardian while it waits for the arrival of the Jacson 25. As soon as Jacson 25 arrives, there will be briefing and then operations begin," Commodore Enrico Efren Evangelista, commander of the Philippine Coast Guard Palawan said to TubbatahaReef.org.
Evangelista also said that the operations of the takedown, piece by piece, of the Guardian may last from February 16 up to the first week of April, reports TubbatahaReef.org.
The USS Guardian was grounded into the Tubbataha Reef last January 17, prompting a damage of over 4,500 square meters of the marine reef. Blame and investigations have sparked, since the minesweeper has also received its fair share of damage.
After the initial crash, the bow of the Guardian was said to have been the only part stuck to the reef, but with natural elements causing further damage to the vessel, it is now entirely grounded on the coral reef.
The Tubbataha Reef is a major player in the productin of 800,000 metric tons of fish in Palawan Sea, reports The Business Mirror. both the Palawan Sea and the Sulu-Celebes Sea, considered as major fishing grounds of the country, are affected by the events taking place in Tubbataha Reef.
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