MANILA, Philippines—The ongoing salvage operations for the United States Navy warship USS Guardian, which remains grounded at the Tubbataha Reef, will not prevent diving enthusiasts from exploring the underwater beauty of the diving site.
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Palawan District commander Commodore Enrico Efren Evangelista said divers would still be allowed by the Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) to explore parts of the coral reef not affected by the grounding incident.
The USS Guardian ran aground in Tubbataha Reef and damaged about 4,000 square meters of the atoll.
Evangelista said there are about 15 dive sites around Tubbataha and only two dive sites were affected as these are very near the grounding site.
“Tubbataha Reef is very wide. There are 13 other dive sites in the area that would remain open for local and foreign tourists to visit,” he added.