Tubbataha Reef News

27 Jan 2016

SUPSALV & Finding El Faro

Captain Gregg W. Baumann discusses with CBS ‘60 Minutes’ anchor Scott Pelley  the technology to be deployed in the search for El Faro. The feature El Faro spot aired on CBS on Sunday, January 3, 2016.  If you missed it, view the 60 Minutes video here:http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/lost-in-the-bermuda-triangle  (Courtesy of U.S. Navy/CBS ‘60 Minutes’)

Last month we were offered an in-depth discussion on marine salvage with Captain Gregg W. Baumann, U.S. Navy, Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving. Captain Baumann and his team have a long history regarding difficult missions accomplished, including most recently the location and filming of the lost TOTE containership El Faro. What is the scope of the responsibility of the Supervisor of Salvage & Diving; Director of Ocean Engineering? The responsibilities of the Supervisor of Salvage & Diving…

23 Feb 2015

US Pays Philippines $1.97M for Reef Damage

     The USS Guardian Aground on the Tubbataha Reef (Photo courtesy of the US Navy)

The U.S. government has a made a $1.97 million payment to the Philippines for damages to a protected coral reef caused by a U.S. Navy minesweeper. The USS Guardian ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in January 2013. The park's management, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and marine experts said that 25,240 square feet of corrals were damaged, according to the Navy Times. After the ship ran aground on the reef, it was dismantled piece by piece to prevent further damage. The funds will be used to protect the reef and improve monitoring of the area. The U.S.

12 Apr 2013

Chinese Fishing Vessel on Tubbataha Reef

Photo credit Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Unlike the ill-fated 'Guardian' the  stranded vessel may soon be towed off the reef as its steel hull is intact. The Philippine Coast Guard are confident are confident that the Chinese vessel can be re-floated after its de-fueling or lightening, which may started once the BRP Corregidor arrives soon, reports 'The Philippine Star'. The Chinese fishing vessel, which has 12 crew members, ran aground 1.1 nautical miles east of the Tubbataha Ranger Station on 8, April 2013. Poaching and bribery charges have been filed against the Chinese crew members…

31 Mar 2013

Tubbataha Reef Wreck Removal Completed

Guardian Final Lift: Photo credit USN

The stern section, the last module of the former minehunter 'USS Guardian' has now been removed by salvors. In January 2013 the Navy mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian ran aground on a coral reef in the Philippines, inside Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. The Navy removed the approximately 15,000 gallons of fuel aboard the ship and decided that the safest way to extract the Guardian from the reef was to deconstruct and carry it away in smaller sections. The removal of the stern section completes the removal of the Guardian in its entirity from the reef.

06 Mar 2013

Chinese Ship Disabled North of Tubbataha Reef

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reports another foreign vessel in trouble off Palawan, to be taken in tow. The Chinese cargo ship M/V Tai An Hai reported engine trouble and was drifting late some 96 kilometers south of Tubbataha Reef, reports The Philippine Star. The M/V Tai An Hai was on passage from Singapore to Tagbilaran, Bohol to deliver 5,900 tons of limestone when the ship's main engines shut down. Initial reports from the area indicated rough sea conditions had hammered the vessel and the ship's captain was worried that the ship would run aground in shallow waters. The Coast Guard’s BRP Pampanga was deployed to render assistance to the Chinese vessel, and an ocean-going tugboat, the Harbor Star is also on its way to assist. Source: The Philippine Star

28 Feb 2013

USS Guardian Update

USS Guardian, Jascon-25: Photo credit The Philippines Coast Guard

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…

14 Feb 2013

'USS Guardian' Latest News

USS Guardian: Photo credit Philippine Coast Guard

The M/T Jascon, due to arrive from Singapore next week, intends to lift the heavy section of the grounded USS Guardian clear of the reef. The Jascon is equipped with a DP system which will enable it to maintian position without anchoring. Meanwhile another Singapore vessel Smit Borneo is currently at the site and can lift smaller pieces weighing up to 500 tons that have been cut off from the Guardian, reports 'The Philippine Star'. The US Navy has hired the services of salvaging ships M/T Trabajador 1 of Malayan Towage and Salvaging Corp.

04 Feb 2013

'USS Guardian' Navy Update

Waves Break Over USS Guardian: Photo credit USN

The Navy has determined that  23-year old 'USS Guardian' will be dismantled & removed in sections from the reef. "Guardian is badly damaged and with the deteriorating integrity of the ship, the weight involved, and where it is grounded on the reef, dismantling in sections is the only supportable option," said Capt. Darryn James, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman. The first Navy contracted floating crane from Singapore is due to arrive in the next few days, and then the dismantling operation will take more than one month.

28 Jan 2013

Salvage Team Removes Fuel From Grounded USS Guardian

U.S. Navy image: salvage operation in progress.

To prevent potential environmental damage, a U.S. Navy-led salvage team on Jan. 25 completed removing all diesel fuel from the tanks of the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5), which ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef one week earlier. No fuel has leaked since the grounding and approximately 15,000 gallons was safely transferred to the contracted Malaysian tug Vos Apollo during controlled defueling operations that occurred over the last two days. “One of our priorities was to get the fuel out of the ship in order to minimize environmental damage,” said Rear Adm.

25 Jan 2013

Reef Grief for USN Ship

USS Guardian: Photo credit USN

The mine counter-measures ship 'USS Guardian' (MCM 5) still sits on the Tubbataha Reef. Operations to safely recover the ship while minimizing environmental effects are being conducted in close cooperation with allied Philippines Coast Guard and Navy. Prior to leaving port in Subic Bay, Guardian canceled a scheduled fuel stop to Puerto Princesa, thus  the  Guardian departed Olongapo City en route to Indonesia and was transiting the Sulu Sea when the grounding occurred at approximately 2:25 a.m. Thursday, 17, January.

21 Jan 2013

USS Guardian Stranding: Navy Commander Regretful

USS Guardian: Photo credit USN

The U.S. 7th Fleet Commander expressed regret over the grounding of 'USS Guardian' on Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea. "As a protector of the sea and a sailor myself, I greatly regret any damage this incident has caused to the Tubbataha Reef," said Vice Adm. Scott Swift. "We know the significance of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and its importance as a World Heritage Site. Swift also announced that Rear Adm. Thomas Carney, Commander of Logistics Group Western Pacific, will take over on Jan. 21 as the on-scene commander to oversee the Guardian recovery operations.

17 Jan 2013

USS Guardian Runs Aground in the Sulu Sea

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- No one was hurt when the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5) ran aground on Tubbataha Reef at 2:25 a.m. local time, Jan. 17, while transiting the Sulu Sea. The Avenger-class ship had just completed a port call in Subic Bay, Olongapo City and was en route to her next port of call when the grounding occurred. The ship is currently stuck on the reef, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island. The crew is currently working to determine the best method of safely extracting the ship. The cause of the grounding is under investigation. Guardian, forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan, was commissioned Dec. 16, 1989, and has a crew of about 80.   (Source: U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs)

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