Posted at: 03/31/2013 8:54 AM
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A U.S. Navy minesweeper has been removed from a Philippine coral reef, where it ran aground in January. Both sides will assess the damage to the UNESCO World Heritage site to determine the fine that Washington will pay.
Philippine coast guard Commodore Enrico Efren Evangelista says the stern, the last part of the dismantled USS Guardian, was lifted off the reef Saturday in the Tubbataha National Marine Park in the Sulu Sea, about 644 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of Manila. Workers are cleaning debris at the site.
Evangelista said Sunday that the damage to the protected coral reef would be assessed this week to determine the fine.
The U.S. Embassy again expressed regret about the incident and reiterated that Washington was prepared to pay for the damage.
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