Navy Ship Runs Aground Off the Philippines' Coast; Vessel and Crew Stranded

A United States Naval ship ran aground off the shores of the Philippines, stranding the ship and crew.

A statement released by the Navy's Seventh Fleet revealed that the USS Guardian became stuck on the Tubataha Reef at while crossing the Sulu Sea. The Avenger-Class ship is used by the Navy as a minesweeper and was traveling to its next port of call when it struck the reef and became stranded.

While there were no injuries reported of the 81-member crew, it remains stuck as military officials develop the safest plan to extract the ship.

"The ship is currently stuck on the reef, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island," according to the statement issued Wednesday night. "The crew is currently working to determine the best method of safely extracting the ship."

The cause of the grounding is currently under investigation. A preliminary examination of the ship indicated that there was no fuel leaking, meaning the ship could be able to continue to its destination when freed from the reef.

The reef is located about 400 miles south of the Philippine capital of Manila and is described as an atoll coral reef in the Sulu Sea of the Philippines. It is a marine sanctuary in the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park.

A Naval fact sheet details that the USS Guardian is based in Sasebo, Japan and was "designed as mine sweepers/hunter-killers capable of finding, classifying and destroying moored and bottom mines."

The vessels hull is made of wood and covered in fiberglass stretching 224 feet long.

This ship is able to use sonar and other under water optics in order to seek out potential mines and detonate them by remote control. Naval officials have stated that a number of the ships have been dispatched to the Persian Gulf in the recent past to protect against any possible threats in the Strait of Hormuz.