MANILA, Philippines – A bigger crane ship that will dismantle the grounded minesweeper USS Guardian is set to arrive in the Philippines on Friday evening, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
PCG Spokesperson Lt. Commander Armand Balilo said crane ship M/T Jascon 25, which originated from Singapore, is estimated to arrive at the Puerto Princesa Port at around 11 p.m.
After the processing of some papers with the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and Bureau of Immigration (BI), the crane ship will head for the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Saturday morning for the continuation of the salvage operations.
The Jascon 25 can remain stable in the sea without having to lower an anchor.
The salvage operations suffered delays after the first crane ship, the smaller Smit Borneo, had a problem in lowering its anchors.
Nonetheless, from its April target, the US Navy now aims to finish the salvage operations on or before March 23.
Tubbataha authorities said the USS Guardian has damaged at least 4,000 square meters of protected corals since it ran aground last January 17. – with a report Noel Alamar, dzMM