The Navy ordered the removal of the 79 Sailors who make up the crew of the USS Guardian after the ship ran aground Thursday on a coral reef off the coast of the Philippines.
Small boats helped transfer the Guardian crew to nearby support vessels USNS Bowditch and MSV C-Champion.
U.S. Seventh Fleet commander Vice Adm. Scott Swift said in a Navy news release:
“Seventh Fleet ships remain on scene and essential Guardian Sailors will continue conducting survey operations onboard the ship as needed until she is recovered. Several support vessels have arrived and all steps are being taken to minimize environmental effects while ensuring the crew’s continued safety.”
As Home Post reported Thursday, the Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef early Thursday morning while transiting the Sulu Sea, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island.
According to the Navy, the crew was not successful in its initial efforts to free the ship on high tide.
At this writing, the Guardian remains stuck on the reef.