Navy hiring giant cranes to help remove ship

By By AUDREY McAVOY

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Navy is hiring floating cranes to help with the dismantling and removal of a minesweeper that ran aground on coral reef off the Philippines.

U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Darryn James said Wednesday a contractor in Singapore is sending the cranes. The equipment should arrive on site in a few days.

It's expected to take over a month to dismantle the USS Guardian.

Crews have already removed 15,000 gallons of fuel from the ship.

The Navy originally said the Guardian would be lifted by crane onto a barge and taken to a shipyard. But James says damage to the ship is "beyond economical repair." The Navy now plans to dismantle the ship before it's removed.

The Guardian ran aground before dawn on Jan. 17.

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