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Stranded US Navy ship ignored warnings: Philippines

Published on Jan 21, 2013 2:09 PM
 
 This handout file photo taken on Jan 19, 2013 and released on Jan 20, 2013 by Philippine Western Command (WESCOM) shows an aerial shot of US navy minesweeper, the USS Guardian, trapped on the Tubbataha reef after it ran aground, in the western island of Palawan. A US Navy minesweeper that has been stuck on a World Heritage-listed coral reef in the Philippines since last week ignored warnings to avoid the area, a government official said. The comments from the superintendent of Tubbataha marine park, Ms Angelique Songco, added to growing anger in the Philippines over the incident, for which the US Navy has apologised but may still face fines. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - A US Navy minesweeper that has been stuck on a World Heritage-listed coral reef in the Philippines since last week ignored warnings to avoid the area, a government official said on Monday.

The comments from the superintendent of Tubbataha marine park, Ms Angelique Songco, added to growing anger in the Philippines over the incident, for which the US Navy has apologised but may still face fines.

Park rangers radioed the USS Guardian to advise it was nearing the Tubbataha Reef on Thursday, but the ship captain insisted they raise their complaint with the US embassy, Ms Songco told reporters.

She said shortly after the warning, the 68-metre vessel became stuck on part of Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Sulu Sea about 130 km southeast of the western island of Palawan.

 
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