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US Navy ship stuck on reef nearly a day after running aground off Philippines

Steve White / U.S. Navy photo

The USS Guardian arrives at White Beach Naval Facility in Japan earlier this month.

A U.S. Navy ship with a wood-and-fiberglass hull that ran aground on a reef off the Philippines was still stuck nearly 22 hours later, Navy officials said Thursday.

The USS Guardian, an Avenger-class minesweeper, hit the Tubbataha Reef in the Sula Sea at 2:25 a.m. local time Thursday (1:25 p.m. Wednesday ET), the Navy said in a statement.

The statement said no one was hurt as a result of the collision, about 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island.

“The crew is currently working to determine the best method of safely extracting the ship,” the statement said. “The cause of the grounding is under investigation.”

Guardian, which is deployed to Sasebo, Japan, was commissioned Dec. 16, 1989, and has a crew of about 80, it added.

A U.S. Navy spokeswoman said at about 11:20 a.m. that the ship was still stuck on the reef.

According to a U.S. Navy factfile, the Guardian has a “fiberglass sheathed, wooden hull.”

“These ships use sonar and video systems, cable cutters and a mine detonating device that can be released and detonated by remote control. They are also capable of conventional sweeping measures,” the factfile says.


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