Skip to main content

Cuts on hull of grounded U.S. warship expected soon

By Brad Lendon, CNN
updated 1:51 PM EDT, Mon March 18, 2013
The stern of the USS Guardian, the last piece of grounded ship, is removed by a crane vessel on Saturday, March 30. The U.S. Navy minesweeper became trapped on a reef off the western Philippine island of Palawan on January 17. The Navy has pledged to clean up debris and restore the reef as much as possible. The stern of the USS Guardian, the last piece of grounded ship, is removed by a crane vessel on Saturday, March 30. The U.S. Navy minesweeper became trapped on a reef off the western Philippine island of Palawan on January 17. The Navy has pledged to clean up debris and restore the reef as much as possible.
HIDE CAPTION
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
End of the USS Guardian
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Six days of calm weather needed to cut up warship's hull
  • Hull of minesweeper to be cut into three parts
  • USS Guardian ran aground on Philippine reef in January

(CNN) -- Work to cut up the hull of a U.S. Navy warship grounded on a Philippine reef is expected to begin shortly, reports from the Philippines said Monday.

Weather will be the determining factor as to when crews will begin cutting up the wood-and-fiberglass hull of the USS Guardian, which has been stranded on Tubbahata Reef in the Sulu Sea since January 17, a Philippine Coast Guard official said. The 224-foot-long hull is expected to be cut into three parts.

"We need six days of very good weather in order to begin cutting and lifting of the hull," Coast Guard Palawan District Commodore Enrico Efren Evanglista told the official Philippine News Agency.

Salvage crews have identified strong points in the hull of the 1,312-ton minesweeper that can be used to lift chunks of the hull off the reef.

"Most of the work is done below deck. The focus of the salvage team is the preparation of the hull for cutting and lifting," the Coast Guard official said.

The superstructure of the vessel has been removed and taken away from the grounding site on Tubbahata Reef, an environmentally sensitive UNESCO World Heritage Site. About 500 species of fish and 350 species of coral can be found there, as can whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and breeding seabirds, according to UNESCO.

That means crews are taking extra care in removing parts of the ship that could contain residue from oil and fuel, such as pipe fittings, Efren Evanglista said.

The Guardian is estimated to have damaged about 4,000 square meters (about 43,000 square feet) of the reef. The Navy has pledged to clean up the debris created when waves stripped off pieces of fiberglass covering the wooden hull of the ship and to try to restore the reef as much as possible.

An investigation of the grounding is ongoing. Navy officials said in January that the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which prepares the digital navigation charts used by the Navy, has reported the location of the reef was misplaced on a chart by nine miles.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 8:15 PM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT