MANILA - The salvage operations of the USS Guardian in Tubbataha Reef reached a milestone today as the whole forward section of the ship has been cut off.
The Philippine Coast Guard said the whole cutting-up operation is expected to be completed on Sunday.
The salvaged parts will then be brought to Japan, and an assessment of the damage to the reef will be made shortly.
The investigation as to why the vessel got stranded will be pursued so as to prevent a repeat of the incident.
The minesweeper ship ran aground on January 17 at the heritage site.
The Tubbataha management board has confirmed that damage to the reef has reached 4,100 square meters.