Map may be factor in U.S. Navy ship's grounding in Philippines

| Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, 7:58 p.m.

MANILA — An inaccurate map that mislocated a marine sanctuary may have caused a Navy minesweeper to run aground on a coral reef in the Philippines last week, the Navy said on Saturday.

All 79 officers and crew of the USS Guardian were taken off the ship for safety reasons after it struck the reef with its bow at 2 a.m. Thursday.

The Navy's Pacific Fleet, based in Hawaii, said that its ships along with several support vessels continue to conduct salvage operations that minimize environmental effects to the reef.

The Navy said in a statement that a review of Digital Nautical Charts, which are used for safe navigation by all Navy ships, found they contained inaccurate data and may have been a factor in the Guardian's grounding.

As a result, Rear Adm. Jonathan White, navigator of the Navy, released precautionary guidance to all Pacific Fleet ships, saying that “initial review of navigation data indicates an error in the location of Tubbataha Reef” in the Philippines.

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