US Navy to pump thousands of litres of oil from ship stuck in Philippines
MANILA (AFP) - The US Navy said today it needed to remove thousands of litres of oil from a minesweeper stuck on World Heritage-listed coral in the Philippines, warning it was too badly damaged to be towed away.
The 68-metre USS Guardian, which became embedded in the Tubbataha Reef a week ago, will have to be lifted onto another ship or barge, a process that might take another fortnight, said Rear Admiral Thomas Carney.
"The option that we hoped to be able to tow the ship off the reef is not available," said Carney, who heads the US Navy's logistics group in the western Pacific.
"It's too badly damaged. It's got hull penetrations in several places, and there's a significant amount of water inside the ship right now." He said the Guardian had listed after being battered by huge waves, and the most pressing issue was to remove 57,000 litres of fuel.