Skip to comments.Philippines assesses $1.4 million fine for damage from Guardian grounding
Posted on 04/08/2013 3:46:31 PM PDT by haffast
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan The U.S. government faces a $1.4 million fine for damage caused to a Philippines national park when the minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground on a coral reef in January, Philippine officials said Monday.
The fine total, converted from 58.4 million Philippine pesos, is based on a 2009 law detailing fines based on total area damaged, unauthorized entry and other violations.
A statement from Tubbataha Reefs National Park superintendent Angelique Songco called the fine just a slap on the wrist.
However, we respect the rule of law, and this is the fine stipulated, Songco said in the statement. The Tubbataha Management Office will not ask for anything more.
Damage to the coral reef totals 25,241 square feet or about a half a football field. The final determination is about 19,000 square feet less than originally estimated, according to a statement posted on the parks website Monday.
A U.S. Navy marine biologist joined a team of Philippine experts last week to conduct a more thorough damage assessment than the initial study in January, which was based on aerial observation.
The 224-foot USS Guardian ran aground at 2:25 a.m. Jan. 17 on Tubbataha Reef, a United Nations World Heritage Site. The ships 79 crewmembers were evacuated after breaches were found in the wooden and glass fiber hull, although no one was reported injured.
The final pieces of the ship were removed March 29.
Salvaging the Guardian at sea has cost $45 million, a U.S. 7th Fleet spokesman said Monday.
(Excerpt) Read more at stripes.com ...
Pay it out of Obama’s travel and entertainment allowance.
I’ve been diving there several times — it’s 110 miles east of Palawan in the middle of the Sulu Sea. How did they manage to find it, let alone run into it?
Magnificent vertical dropoffs to hundreds of feet, manta rays everywhere, spectacular soft coral formations, sea turtle nests on sandy beaches... a dive paradise.
1.4 million is cheap. This used to be (and may still be) one of the top ten dive sites in the world.
Why doesn’t the Phillipines just take it off the bill from the United States FOR SAVING THEIR ASSES IN WWII????? Ingrates.
My first thought also.
At $13K every weekend to fly “Just Joe” home on Air Force 2 (100 miles), it would be paid for in only two years.
will the money restore the coral, or prevent further accidents.....crazy world we live in
Yup. But he is in the Land Guard. Not Navy. Our first choice gets sea sick.
the captain was dumb enough to put it on the reef, so the fine is deserved.
Of course, this being the Philippines, one does wonder how much of it will go to restoring the reef and/or helping locals, and how much will end up in the local politician’s pockets...