Philippine Navy flagship extricated from Hasa-Hasa Shoal
The Philippine Navy's flagship that ran aground in Hasa-Hasa shoal was finally removed on Monday night.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, said operations to pull out the Philippine Navy ship started around 2pm Monday.
“Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Gregorio del Pilar (FF 15) that ran aground in the shoal was successfully pulled out shortly before midnight or at 11:45 pm of the same day,” he said.
“This was the information received from the commander of Joint Task Force “Goyong” Commodore Rommel Jason Galang in his report to the commander, Western Command Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez,” he added.
Arevalo said BRP Gregorio del Pilar will be towed by local and privately owned Tug Boats M/T Trabahador and M/T Vigilant to Subic Bay in Zambales.
“Inspection was ongoing as at this time in preparation for the towing of the vessel to Subic,” he said.
It can be recalled that FF15 were conducting routine patrol when it ran aground in Hasa-Hasa Shoal in the evening of August 29.
BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is the first Hamilton Class Cutter acquired by the Philippines through the Excess Defense Article Program of the United States.
FF15, formerly the United States Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, was acquired and commissioned in December 2011.
The Philippine Navy has two other Hamilton Class Cutters, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16) formerly the USCGC Dallas activated and placed in Philippine Navy service on November 2013 and the BRP Andres Bonifacio, formerly the US Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell which was transferred to the PN in California last July 21 2016. Robina Asido/DMS