A Vietnamese Navy's officer takes picture of USS Guardian approaching a port in the northern coastal city of Hai Phong 14 November 2007. Two USS, the Guadian and Patriot, make a first port call to Northern Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War. The US Navy ships have been visiting ports in central and southern Vietnam since the two countries normalised their bilateral relationship in 1995. (Photo by HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A U.S. Navy official says a minesweeper that ran aground on a reef in the Philippines has been punched full of holes and is taking in a significant amount of water.
Rear Adm. Thomas Carney said Thursday that 56,000 liters (15,000 gallons) of fuel must be removed from the USS Guardian before a crane ship can lift it from the Tubbataha Reef.
Carney, the commander for the Navy's Logistics Group in the Western Pacific, expressed his "deepest regret" over the Jan. 17 accident and says the Navy is committed to removing the ship from the reef.
The Philippines says it wants to fine the Navy for the damage and illegal entry into the marine sanctuary that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
An investigation is under way.
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1/23/2013 10:27:15 PM (GMT -5:00)