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The U.S Navy minesweeper that grounded on a Philippine reef last week has taken on water and sustained too much damage to be towed off, the Navy says.

“It’s got hull penetrations in several places, and there is a significant amount of water inside the ship,” Rear Adm. Tom Carney said at a briefing Thursday.

The Navy said it will use ship-borne cranes and heavy-lift vessels to lift the minesweeper, the USS Guardian, off the Tubbataha Reef.
“As the crane ships arrive, we will take items off the Guardian to lighten the weight of the ship so we are able to remove it from the reef,” Carney said. “The option that we had hoped to tow the ship off the reef is not available. The ship is too badly damaged.”

The Guardian would be removed from the area on a barge or other ship, Carney said.

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