Tubbataha Reef – wreck removal is starting
The removal of the USS Guardian wreck is starting now. The end of the operation is targeted for April 9. The target date can be achieved when weather remains fine.
“SMIT Borneo”, a 110-meter x 32-meter barge with pedestal crane, secondary tracked crane and accommodation, arrived on site Tuesday evening some 1,000 meters away from the damaged reef.
The anchors of the barge and other ships will be set about 1,000 meters from the reef to prevent future damage of the corals. Current reports speak of 4,000 square meters of damaged corals.
The Philippine Coast Guard has formed a Maritime Casualty Investigation Team to gather the physical and documentary evidence needed to establish the circumstances and causes on how the US Navy vessel strayed into the protected area” despite ample warning by park rangers.
The US Navy is doing a parallel investigation given the present US maritime ship prepositioning capability in the West Pacific zone.