The Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board (TPAMB) has approved a salvage plan for safely removing minesweeper USS Guardian, according to gmanetwork.com.
The removing will minimize further damage to the UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site.
SMIT Salvage, Singapore, received on Feb. 1, 2013, a $24,889,904 contract to provide support for emergency response and recovery operations for the USS Guardian (MCM 5) grounding on Tubbataha Reef, Sulu Sea, the Philippines.
Support will include personnel, vessels and equipment required for assessment, planning, stabilization, oil removal and vessel recovery.
The U.S. and Philippine authorities said that preventing further damage to the reef is “a top priority”.
“The two governments agreed to continue to work closely together as the salvage operation and the investigation into the grounding proceed. Both governments agree that preventing further damage to the reef is a top priority,” they said.
Naval Today Staff, February 6, 2013