M/V Jascon 25 transfers scaffolding and salvaging equipment to USS Guardian (MCM 5), Feb. 22. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anderson Bomjardim)

USS BLUE RIDGE AT SEA - The U.S. Navy contracted crane vessel M/V Jascon 25, in addition to other required specialized salvage equipment on site, began crane operations yesterday on USS Guardian (MCM 5) as the weather and sea states have become more cooperative to prepare the grounded ship to be dismantled and removed from Tubbataha Reef.

Using its dynamic positioning system, the Jascon 25 is able to position its crane within reach of the Guardian without requiring traditional mooring equipment that could damage the reef. With the crane in position, the U.S. Navy and salvage teams have begun transferring mine countermeasure equipment including the sixteen ton cable reel, onboard repair parts, and refrigerated stores that they had been previously unable to transfer using small boats. Equipment that will be returned to service is being transferred to the USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) for future offload to the USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8).

“The Jascon 25’s dynamic positioning system is allowing us to begin the salvage effort in earnest. We are turning to.”, said Capt Mark Matthews U.S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage.

The salvage plan and timeline, often impacted by weather conditions, will continue to be updated by the Navy salvage experts to reflect the actual conditions throughout the dismantling process. The salvage plan continues to emphasize safety and protection of the environment to protect personnel and the Tubbataha Reef ecosystem.

For the latest updates, visit the U.S. 7th Fleet website.