(CNN) -- The U.S. Navy has evacuated all 79 crew members from a minesweeper that ran aground Thursday on a reef in the Philippines, the Navy's Seventh Fleet said in a statement Friday.
The 224-foot-long,1,312-ton ship was on its way from Subic Bay to its next port call when it struck the Tubbataha Reef, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) east-southeast of Palawan Island in the Sulu Sea, the Navy said.
Initial efforts to free the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship at high tide were unsuccessful, and the crew was transferred by small boats to the USNS Bowditch and the MSV C-Champion, ships of the Military Sealift Command, according to the Navy statement.
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