US Navy, Philippine Coast Guard in diving drills off Manila

USNS Salvor moored, left, to prepare for diving and salvage training on the sunken vessel MV Captain Ufuk, right, in Manila Bay. Photo: US embassy in the Philippines

U.S. Navy divers and Philippine Coast Guard Special Operations Group (PCGSOG) members took part in a combined information exchange and diving survey on the sunken vessel MV Captain Ufuk in Manila Bay’s South Harbor this week.

This exchange focused on ship salvage techniques, diving operations, side scan sonar, remotely-operated vehicle operations, damage control, de-watering, as well as cutting and welding.

Additionally, PCGSOG personnel toured the USNS Salvor, the Safeguard-class salvage ship from which the U.S. Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One (MDSU-1) and salvage personnel operate during this exchange.

The MV Captain Ufuk sunk roughly a year ago, and poses a hazard to navigation in Manila Bay. In addition to traning, this exchange will also provide vital information to plan for refloating and relocating the MV Captain Ufuk at a later date.

The Commander of PCGSOG, Cdr. Edgardo Hernando met with the MSDU-1 dive teams as well as engineering and salvage representatives from U.S. Combined Task Force 73, who will be joining in a long-term engagement plan to facilitate combined operations in the future to refloat and salvage the vessel.

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