PCG reports 'close distance maneuvering' incident with CCG vessel
PCG reports 'close distance maneuvering' incident with CCG vessel
PCG reports 'close distance maneuvering' incident with CCG vessel
by John Dexter Tilo28 March 2022

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Sunday reported a "close distance maneuvering" incident with the China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel.

According to the PCG, the incident occurred on March 2 while one of its ships, BRP Malabrigo, was on maritime patrol operations in Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal.

"Coast Guard personnel have monitored a CCG vessel with bow number 3305 that conducted a close distance maneuvering of approximately 21 yards towards BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402) while the said PCG vessel was sailing at the vicinity waters off Bajo de Masinloc," said the PCG in a statement.

It added that the incident is a "clear violations of the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea."


This is also the fourth reported incident of close distance maneuvering with the CCG vessels in Bajo de Masinloc, according to PCG Commandant CG Admiral Artemio Abu.

The first incident was reported on May 19, 2021, when a CCG vessel with the bow number 3301 had a close distance maneuvering with the PCG-manned vessel MCS-3005.

"The second and third incidents involved two CCG vessels (bow numbers: 3301 and 3103) that conducted close distance maneuvering with BRP Capones (MRRV-4404) and BRP Sindangan (MRRV-4407) during the PCG’s maritime capability enhancement exercises in Bajo de Masinloc on 01 to 02 June 2021," the PCG narrated.

Abu said that the incidents have been brought to the attention to authorities, adding that the situation is increasing the risk of collision.


"The behavior of the involved CCG vessels increased the risk of collision with four of our capital ships. Hence, we immediately coordinated with the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea and the Department of Foreign Affairs to address this issue through rules-based and peaceful approaches," said Abu.

Despite the incidents, the PCG commandant said operations in Bajo de Masinloc will continue.

"We are fully aware of dangerous situations at sea, but these will not stop our deployment of assets and personnel in Bajo de Masinloc, Philippine Rise, and other parts of the country’s exclusive economic zones," he said.

"We will continue to work silently and diligently for we are serving Filipino fishermen at sea. As long as they feel safe seeing us during their fishing operations, we know that we are doing our job well."


Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has instructed the PCG to continue promoting the safety of life and property at sea, and enforcing all applicable laws within the Philippine waters.

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