US ship stuck on Philippines coral reef

2013-01-18 12:00
The USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper, after running aground off Tubbataha Reef. (AFP Wescom/ AP)

The USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper, after running aground off Tubbataha Reef. (AFP Wescom/ AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Manila — A US Navy minesweeper was stuck on a coral reef in the Philippines for a second day on Friday, as the crew struggled to extract the ship and Philippine authorities tried to evaluate damage to a protected marine park.

The Navy's 7th Fleet said in a statement that the crew of the USS Guardian was working to find out the best method of safely extracting the ship. Winds and waves were stronger on Friday and may make it more difficult to free the ship, Philippine officials said.

It had just completed a port call in Subic Bay, a former American naval base west of the Philippine capital, when it hit the reef on Thursday in the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea, 640km southwest of Manila.

The ship was not listing or leaking oil but its bow struck the reef, said Angelique Songco, head of the government's Protected Area Management Board, after flying over the ship in a Philippine Air Force plane. "[The ship] does not appear to be damaged."

She said it was unclear how much of the reef was damaged. She said the government imposes a fine of about $300 per square meter of damaged coral.

In 2005, the environmental group Greenpeace was fined almost $7 000 after its flagship struck a reef in the same area.

Biological diversity


The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said in a statement that according to an initial ocular inspection, the 68m long, 1 300-ton Guardian damaged at least 10m of the reef.

Songco said that park rangers were not allowed to board the ship for inspection and were told to contact the US Embassy in Manila. Their radio calls to the ship were ignored, she said.

The Tubbataha Reef is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the Coral Triangle, the world's cradle of marine life. It is off-limits to fishing and the collection of corals, wildlife and any marine life is prohibited. In 1992, Unesco designated the reef as a World Heritage Site.

US Navy ships have stepped up visits to Philippine ports for refuelling, rest and recreation, and joint military exercises as a result of a redeployment of US forces in the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippines, a US defense treaty ally, has been entangled in a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.

- AP
Read more on:    philippines  |  us  |  environment
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.