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Let us pause for a while and take a peek at the fascinating wonders of nature, the majesty and the glory of God's creation and the spectacle of human engineering. Unfortunately, I cannot go to these places in as much as I want to so, I’m just taking this virtual expedition. I hope you can join me in this online adventure.

-Arnel S. Oroceo, the Author

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chinese Ship Crashes Tubbataha

a Chinese-flagged fishing vessel reportedly ran aground late Monday evening (April 8) along the northern part of the the Tubbataha Reef, UNESCO World Heritage Site (Image: worldmaritimenews)

Just a few days after the US Navy and the salvaging crew of the former USS Guardian has completed salvaging operations off the coast of Tubbataha, another vessel, a Chinese fishing ship this time, has run aground the Tubbataha Reef.

Undeniably, this latest sad incident has caused further damage to the reef. Reports say that the Chinese fishermen have offered money to the arresting rangers to set them free. However, authorities have brought them to the city of Puerto Prinsesa for legal action. They have charged them with illegal fishing and bribery.

I hope that this is the last time a ship will run aground the Tubbataha Reef. The Philippine government needs to make all efforts to ensure protection to its territory.

Image credit:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

USS Guardian at the Tubbataha

A section of Guardian's hull being removed by the US Navy contracted crane vessel M/V Jascon 25 on 26 March 2013 Image Credit: Wikipedia
Last January 17, 2013, the US Navy ship USS Guardian has grounded at the Tubbataha Reef National Park destroying more than 2,000 square meters of the reef. The US Navy has blamed the grounding on a faulty map and has relieved four of the officers on board Lt. Cmdr. Mark A. Rice, his executive officer and navigator Lt. Daniel Tyler, the ship’s assistant navigator and the officer of the deck.

Salvaging operation has started on January 29. Bad weather and high waves has delayed the operation but it has proceeded and on March 30, the salvaging crew has concluded its operation. They have cut up the ship into three sections and have lifted them part by part using a crane vessel M/V Jascon 25, which the US Navy has contracted for the job.

According to the survey, which the World Wide Fund for Nature–Philippines and the Tubbataha Management Office has done, the damage area is at 2,345.67 square meters. The US government has agreed to pay a fine of $600 per square meter under Philippine law, which would total to around US$1.4M.
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