Bigger crane ship due in Tubbataha on Saturday



The USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper, is still stuck after running aground Tubbataha Reefs, a Unesco World Heritage Site in Sulu Sea, in this Jan. 17 photo released by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–The second, bigger crane ship that would help remove portions of the USS Guardian, which remains stuck in Tubbataha Reef in Palawan, is expected to arrive at the site on Saturday, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

PCG Palawan District commander Commodore Enrico Evangelista said MT Jascon 25 would proceed directly to Tubbataha Reef to commence with the salvaging operations for the USS Guardian.

The salvage operation to remove the USS Guardian from the Tubbataha Reef was put on hold Sunday because of turbulent sea conditions, which prevented the giant crane ship SMIT Borneo from anchoring close to the moribund US minesweeper.

The 14,829-gross-ton and 118-meter-long MT Jascon 25 has a dynamic positioning system that does not require anchors to keep it stable, according to Evangelista.

He added that MT Jascon 25 met some delays in its arrival because of the headwind or the wind blew directly in front of the ship’s direction, thus opposing its forward movement.

But despite the rush to finish the salvaging operations, Evangelista said the crane ship would not be exempted from undergoing the routine check.

“It would still go through the procedure of Customs, Immigration and Quarantine inspection, which will be done at the site on Feb. 17,” he said, adding that the CIQ inspectors would be airlifted by a helicopter to reach the MT Jascon 25 at the coral reef.

Apart from the two crane ships, the United States earlier hired the services of salvaging ships MT Trabajador 1 of Malayan Towage and Salvaging Corporation and the Vos Apollo of a Malaysian company based in Singapore. The US Navy’s USNS Salvor and the PCG’s BRP Romblon are also at the site.

It has been estimated that the grounding incident damaged 4,000 square meters of the coral reef. The marine sanctuary is a United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage Site.

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  • PHtaxpayer

    This is a warning to the PH govt and the public that hosting US Navy vessels in our shores poses a great danger to our security. If any one of the US Navy’s nuclear-powered ships or subs ran aground or sunk in PH territorial waters, we would be facing a nightmare scenario where our fisheries, food supply, environment and livelihood would be severely affected.

    So many nuclear accidents have happened before by the US military, like accidentally dropping nuclear bombs in the Mediterranean or sinking nuclear submarines, that it’s only a matter of time until they cause more disasters in our territory. The problem is, as found by a 2009 PH Senate investigation, is the Americans have unrestricted access to our seas and airspace as agreed by our MDT. Therefore, the govt should scrap the treaty and pose strict restrictions where foreign military forces can and how operate.

    • Loggnat

      And how will you enforce strict restrictions on foreign military force ie. US, China, Malaysia, etc. within the country’s territorial waters? By the same technique used in Panatag against the Chinese vessels? :))) 

      • PHtaxpayer

        We are never going to gain our true independence if we rely on our former colonial master. But we do need foreign aid to gain our independence.  All you have to do is look at history of colonial wars and see how true that is:

        US got France’s help to boot out the British in 1776.
        Vietnam got China’s help to boot out the French 1954 then the Americans in 1975, then fought China.

        The US govt spread propaganda that the “evil communists were going to take away our liberty” but that was a lie. Vietnam became free and peaceful and free after the US left in 1975.  China abandoned the NPA after Nixon visited Beijing in 1972 and China became free and peaceful.

        The only reason why there is NPA in the PH today is people in the province is there is corruption and poverty and the govt neglects the the poor people. 

        Only ignorant people here still believe the US is fighting for our freedom.  The truth is, any superpower will bully weaker nations  to gain its own selfish interests.  As a weak nation, the PH should learn to make strategic alliances that will serve our interests. 

        But only Filipino’s can fight for our own freedom – the US does not care for it – it just says that so long as the PH govt gives it what it wants: basing rights to PH territory in order to use the PH as a buffer against the emerging superpowers of China and India.  That’s why they supported Marcos and will not go against China in our territorial disputes. The US prefers us weak and dependent on them but this is not the way to independence.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      yes and a meteor is going to hit and destroy the world. thats good idea though i think america should kiss this country  good and let china have all the millions of dollars given to the philippines was just wasted anyway oh you have no fishing that has already been destroyed from within. i know because i live among the fisherman except thet dont fish anymore the boats are rotting on shore and the ocean behind my house is so polluted i cant swim in it and i live 50 kilometers from the nearest city 

    • Rodolfo

       You sounds like a Chinese puppet and a sympathizer !

      • PHtaxpayer

        You don’t know me at all but what matters is the Truth and you seem afraid of it because you don’t wanna face it!

  • bogli_anakdami

    i’d suggest to leave the “cleanup” to the flipland gobyerno de gung gongs… the dapor would/could be dismantled by flip aquasquats, magbabakals, magbobotes, et al. and turn it into scraps. 

    intsik beho would be beri-beri happy… ebribodi would make some pesos…

    magkano na bang kilo ng bakal ngayon?

    yun lang…

  • $18209031

    THis is just misery ,and thanks to high school dropouts of US navy for causing this mishap. American taxpayers are taking the toll in putting up the bill.  And lastly , the Coral Reef is damage for life, the extent is unknown .

    • Crazy_horse101010

      this is misery 70 percent of the reefs are destroyed and you not done one thing about get off your lazy butt  and come down to the real world and put a stop. to the blasting that happens every day i will be watching for yeah right. you dont care one iota for reefs you just want to attack america. also show proof any of them are high school dropouts back up your statements hypocrite

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