February 4th, 2013
11:23 AM ET

Crane barges on way to stricken U.S. warship

One of two crane barges needed by salvage crews to help lift a stranded Navy minesweeper off a reef in the Philippines has arrived and another one is on the way, a Philippine news agency reports.

"The crane barge, Smit Borneo, arrived off Puerto Princesa Sunday morning. Another one, much bigger, is expected to arrive anytime soon," Philippine Coast Guard Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena told the news agency.

The warship USS Guardian ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef on January 17. Waves have battered the vessel since, badly damaging it.

Navy experts say the only way to safely move it off the environmentally sensitive reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is to cut it into pieces and lift those pieces off the reef with heavy cranes.

The U.S. Embassy also is organizing efforts with local authorities for restoration of the reef. The U.S. is offering a $100,000 grant to a Philippine university to "support coral restoration research at Tubbataha Reef," the embassy said in a statement.

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Filed under: Philippines • World
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Mac

    We just keep lowering the bar in all aspects!!!!

    February 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hausinboderaudiesauader

    the united states navy has pumped billions of dollars in what is a deprived economy,and now they cry when we have a small accident .trust me we will make it right, quit crying.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Ricky

      You’re not too bright are you? First, and foremost the US has never given billions of dollars to the Philippines much the same way the US gives billions to Israel year after year. The US also gives billions of dollars worth of military equipment to Israel, yet the US still has not given the Philippines one F-16! However, Israel has at least 50, if not more, F-16s. Perhaps, F-16s aren’t good option in tropical jungle arena, which is the Philippines, at least the US can give the Philippines a few Cobra or Apache attack helicopters. But no the US would only give the Philippines a “refurbished” US Coast Guard Cutter – and only one at that.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Just me

    More worried about the reef and associated ecology than the warship.

    February 8, 2013 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Snoofy

    OK, the ship probably didn't hurt the reef that much. But we are the ones that ran over their reef! So why not donate some money that will help save reefs all over the world.

    February 8, 2013 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Whatever

    This would be a perfect opportunity for Boeing's proposed heavy-lifting dirigible to prove itself.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
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