Vietnamese border guards and U.S. sailors stand on board of the U.S. Navy ship USS Guardian in the northeastern Vietnam.
(Photo : Reuters)
A U.S. Navy ship has reportedly run aground on a reef in the Sulu Sea in the Philippines according to a report by ABC. Approximately 81 crew members are on onboard the ship, 75 are enlisted soldiers.
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The USS Guardian minesweeper is currently stuck on the reef, although no injuries have been reported yet according to the Associated Press.
There has also been no indication of an oil leak, but around 15 percent of the bow has apparently struck the reef according to Angelique Songco, head of the government's Protected Area Management Board.
The crew had just completed a port call in Subic Bay, which is a former American naval base, when it hit the reed located in the Tubbataha National Marine Park. Philippine authorities will now work to figure out if any significant damage has occurred to the park.
"The ship is currently stuck on the reef, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island," said the statement late Wednesday. "The crew is currently working to determine the best method of safely extracting the ship."
The government will most likely impose a fine of around $300 per square meter of corals that were damaged according to ABC.
The ship ran aground on the Tubataha Reef at around 2:25 a.m. local time. The reef is located around 400 miles south of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
In 2005, an environmental group known as Greenpeace was fined approximately $7,000 after their ship, the Rainbow Warrior, got stuck in a reef in the same area according to Yahoo.
The Navy's 14 Avenger-Class ships "are designed as mine sweepers/hunter-killers capable of finding, classifying and destroying moored and bottom mines," according to a Navy fact sheet. The ships use sonar, video systems, cable cutters and mines that can be detonated by a remote control.