SULU SEA (Jan. 29, 2013) Heavy waves crash against the grounded mine countermeasure ship USS Guardian (MCM 5), which ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea on Jan. 17. The grounding and subsequent heavy waves constantly hitting Guardian have caused severe damage, leading the Navy to determine the 23-year old ship is beyond economical repair and is a complete loss. With the deteriorating integrity of the ship, the weight involved, and where it has grounded on the reef, dismantling the ship in sections is the only supportable salvage option. The U.S. Navy continues to work in close cooperation with the Philippine Coast Guard and Navy to safely dismantle Guardian from the reef while minimizing environmental effects. (U.S. Navy photo/Released) Navy photo/Released)
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