U.S. Navy Ship Taking on Water on Philippine Reef

A photo provided by the U.S. Navy, 5th Fleet and dated Aug. 29, 2012, shows USS Navy mine counter measure ships, from right to left, USS Dexrous and USS Sentry get in line to conduct an astern replenishment-at-sea. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Toni Burton)
By Associated Press | 

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A U.S. Navy official says a minesweeper that ran aground on a reef in the Philippines has been punched full of holes and is taking in a significant amount of water.

Rear Adm. Thomas Carney said Thursday that 15,000 gallons of fuel must be removed from the USS Guardian before a crane ship can lift it from the Tubbataha Reef.

Carney, the commander for the Navy's Logistics Group in the Western Pacific, expressed his "deepest regret" over the Jan. 17 accident, and says the Navy is committed to removing the ship from the reef.

The Philippines says it wants to fine the Navy for the damage and illegal entry into the marine sanctuary that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

An investigation is under way.

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