Ship's funnel removed, mast section to be lifted off next.
As weather conditions seem to be fine near Tubbataha Reef, salvaging operation of the USS Guardian that ran aground last month along a portion of the UNESCO World Heritage reef continues as the team starts to prepare for level 2 section lifting.
Commodore Enrico Efren Evangelista, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Palawan district commander and chief of Task Force Tubbataha said that the operations currently on-going for the clearing of equipments below weather deck as well as the removal of sonar winch at the bow, while the team is already done with lifting of the funnel section.
He added that before the salvaging team will proceed with level-2 section lifting, they will first lift the mast section as well as relocating the reference beacons of JASCON-25 and the transfer of recovered items from USS Guardian to M/Tug Archon Tide.
Vessels currently present along the salvaging site includes JASCON-25, SMIT Borneo crane barge, USNS Salvor, USNS Safeguard, USNS Wally Schirra, M/Tug Archon Tide, M/Tug Intrepid, M/Tug Trabajador-1 and Barge S-7000 of the Malayan Towage and PCG vessel BRP-Pampanga.
Evangelista also assured the public that the salvaging team continues the clearing of loose materials in the USS Guardian to prevent further damage to the reef.