A week after finally removing the last debris from the January wreck, the U.S. Navy relieved 4 officers.
The 25-year-old U.S. navy minesweeper, the USS Guardian, ran aground near the Philippines at the Tubbataha Reef due to a problem with its mapping systems. The ship's systems located the reef elsewhere.
On April 3, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Rice, the Guardian's commanding officer, as well as the navigator, assistant navigator and officer standing watch at the time of the grounding were all relieved by Adm. Jeffrey Harley. Rice was to slated to take command of the Guardian's replacement.
"[The officers] did not adhere to standard U.S. Navy navigation procedures." Navy investigation report
The bow of the USS Guardian was hoisted from the sea onto a waiting barge on Mar. 26 after the ship was cut into 3 chunks. The ship's engine room was also removed.
"As the hull has been removed, the team is now shifting their effort to collecting minor debris that remains on the reef… We also have a collaborative team from the U.S. and the Philippines beginning to assess the condition of the reef." Navy Capt. Mark Matthews, salvage effort leader
The Philippines plans to ask the U.S. for compensation for damage to 43,000 square feet of the reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The U.S. ambassador said that the U.S. "will provide appropriate compensation."
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