US Navy – minesweeper ran aground in Philippines, protests

By Accidents

U.S. Navy minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground off Tubbatah Reef yesterday, a World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea, 400 miles (640km) southwest of Manila, Philippines. Local people protest against the Visiting Forces Agreement that gives the right to U.S. Troops presence in the country.
The reason for the minesweeper ship to run aground is an inaccurate map that led USS Guardian to the coral reef in the Philippines. People on board 79 had to leave the ship for safety measures because the minesweeper struck the reef with its bow. Salvage operations are taking place. The reef has to be protected because is a world heritage site.
U.S. Navy announced that a false data may be the reason for the grounding. All Pacific Fleet ships are warned for errors in the navigation data of Tubbataha Reef. Investigations will reveal the exact reason for the incident.
The minesweeper is an Avenger class ship and had just finished a port call in Subic Bay, ex-American naval base and had to take part in an training.
The reef is damaged at least with 10 metres according to the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines, and that reef is marked by UNESCO as World Heritage Site with numerous coral species, reefs, fish.
USS Guardian is 68-meter-long, 1,300-ton minesweeper ship.
If we look back in time there is another incident happened in 2005, then a flagship of Greenpeace struck in the same place. Government of Philippines is an important U.S. Defence ally.
Now the ship has to be safely removed with minimal damage to the reef.