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)
HONOLULU (AP) -- The U.S. Navy says it plans to dismantle a minesweeper that ran aground on a coral reef off the Philippines, in part, because the ship is a complete loss.
U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Darryn James said Wednesday, attempting to remove the USS Guardian intact would also cause more damage to the reef and the ship's hull.
There's also a chance the vessel might break up or sink in the process.
The Navy expects it will take over a month to dismantle the Guardian.
Crews have already removed 15,000 gallons of fuel from the ship.
The Navy is hiring floating cranes from a company in Singapore to help with the removal.
The equipment should arrive on site in a few days.