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U.S. Navy to dismantle ship stuck on Philippine reef

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MANILA, Philippines >> The U.S. Navy says it will dismantle a damaged minesweeper that ran aground on a coral reef in the Philippines after carefully studying all options on how to salvage the ship.

Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. James Stockman said today that dismantling the USS Guardian was determined to be the best solution and would involve the least damage to the Tubbataha Reef, a protected marine sanctuary where the ship got stuck Jan. 17.

He said the Philippine coast guard was reviewing the plan, but gave no other details.

The grounding caused no casualties to the ship’s 79 crew and officers, who were taken off the vessel after it crashed into the reef.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has said the U.S. Navy must explain how the ship got off its course.

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