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US Navy Ship Removed From Philippine Reef After Grounding in January

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Philippine Coast Guard officials say a U.S. Navy minesweeper has been removed from a coral reef, where it ran aground in January.

Officials said the stern of the USS Guardian was lifted off the Tubbataha Reef Saturday afternoon, after the wooden hull had been cut into four pieces.

A salvage ship will remain in the area for about three days to clear leftover debris. Then the UNESCO World Heritage site will be evaluated to determine the amount of damages Washington will have to pay Manila.

The U.S. government has apologized for the accident and has said that it is prepared to pay for the damage.



The Guardian hit the coral reef in the Sulu Sea on January 17 and could not free itself.

All 79 crew members were removed safely from the ship the next day. The ship was said to be a complete loss.

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