PN flagship runs aground at Hasa-Hasa Shoal at West Philippine Sea
The flagship of the Philippine Navy (PN) ran aground in the vicinity of Hasa-Hasa Shoal in West Philippine Sea last Wednesday, a military spokesperson said Thursday night.
Col. Noel Detoyato, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs chief, said based on reports that reached the General Headquarters of the AFP, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF 15) was conducting routine patrol when the incident happened late Wednesday night.
Detoyato said no Philippine Navy personnel were reported hurt.
Detoyato said following the incident "all afloat vessels in the Western Command area have already been mobilized to conduct assessment, retrieve the aground vessel and return her to safe harbor, and assist all personnel aboard BRP Del Pilar."
"Other assets from nearby AFP installations are on standby for any contingency," he said.
Detoyato added that "an investigation is expected in such situations to find out the possible causes of the grounding and to come up with steps to ensure that similar incidents will be prevented."
It can be recalled that FF 15 is the first Hamilton Class Cutter acquired by the Philippines through the Excess Defense Article Program of the United States.
BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, formerly the United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Hamilton was acquired and commissioned in December 2011.
The two other Hamilton Class Cutters were BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16) formerly the USCGC Dallas the second ship that was activated and placed in Philippine Navy service on November 2013 and the BRP Andres Bonifacio formerly the USCGC Boutwell which was formally transferred to PN service in California last July 21 of 2016. DMS