YOKOHAMA, Japan, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A U.S. Navy container ship remained stuck on a coral reef near Okinawa for a second day Friday.
A total of 131 people, including 38 civilian crew members, 26 Marines and 67 soldiers, were still on board the USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak, officials said, with another ship on the scene if they need to be evacuated. The vessel was leaking but the amount of water coming in is "manageable," Lt. Charles Banks, a spokesman for the 7th Fleet, said.
The 821-foot vessel struck a reef or outcropping Thursday 6 miles off the coast of Okinawa. High tide that night did not free it.
Banks said experts were headed to the area to determine what must be done to get the ship off the reef. In one case in 2013 the USS Guardian had to be taken apart to remove it from a reef in the Philippines.
Banks said the divers had not discovered yet if any live coral was damaged when the ship struck.
"The safety of the civilian crew members and the environment are our top priorities. So we're taking this situation very seriously and will continue to investigate the situation until it's resolved," Cmdr. William Marks said Thursday.