US Navy hires giant cranes for ship removal-A A +A
Thursday, January 31, 2013
HONOLULU -- The U.S. Navy is hiring floating cranes to help with the dismantling and removal of a minesweeper that ran aground on coral reef off the Philippines.
U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Darryn James said Wednesday a contractor in Singapore is sending the cranes. The equipment should arrive on site in a few days.
It's expected to take over a month to dismantle the USS Guardian.
Crews have already removed 15,000 gallons (56,780 liters) of fuel from the ship.
The Navy originally said the Guardian would be lifted by crane onto a barge and taken to a shipyard. But James says damage to the ship is "beyond economical repair." The Navy now plans to dismantle the ship before it's removed.
Approximately 1,000 square meters of the Tubbataha Reef was damaged when the USS Guardian ran aground, said Department of Transportation and Communication Eduardo Oban, Jr.
According to the US Navy, the vessel ran aground on Tubbataha Reef at 2:25 a.m. in January 17. The USS Guardian, which departed Olongapo City en route to Indonesia, was transiting the Sulu Sea when the grounding occurred.
The US Navy earlier said they were provided by the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency with the preliminary findings of a review on Digital Nautical Charts that contain "inaccurate navigation data," which may have been a factor in the grounding of the Guardian. (AP/Sunnex/Emmanuel Louis Bacani)