Ph Coast Guard launches ‘most modern’ ship for West Philippine Sea patrol

Robie de Guzman   •   July 18, 2019   •   1894

Courtesy: Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard on Wednesday said its “most modern” patrol ship has been launched by shipbuilder OCEA in France.

The PCG said the 83.6-meter long offshore patrol vessel, which will be commissioned as Barko Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Gabriela Silang, will join the service in December.

The ship will be used to patrol the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise and other anti-piracy and terrorism campaigns in Southern Philippines.

The vessel is equipped with a mission management system (MMS) to conduct maritime surveillance, law enforcement, situation awareness and exchange of information with other units and general coastal patrol of territorial waters.

It is also capable of responding to marine environmental pollution such as oil spills and has a room that can treat persons rescued from the sea.

The new vessel can accommodate 64 crew onboard and has a maximum speed of 20 knots, and an endurance that will take up to 22 days long. It also has two onboard 9-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats with speed of 40 knots.

Its main engine is a hybrid engine of diesel-electric type, which is the first vessel under PCG to utilize diesel-electric engine.

The PCG said 18 personnel, who will serve as the sailing crew, are set to travel to France in September to start training in manning the vessel. The vessel and the sailing crew are expected to arrive in Manila in the first week of December.

The offshore patrol vessel was made under a financing agreement with the BNP Paribas (France). The contract, signed in 2017, costs P5.6 billion (€97,032,507).

Included in this project are the four 24-meter Fast Patrol Boats that were already delivered last year.

PCG personnel in ports told to wear protective gears vs. nCoV

Robie de Guzman   •   January 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday said it has implemented stricter guidelines and preventive measures to protect its port personnel against novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

In a statement, PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia said the guidelines are specifically intended to protect individuals who are performing port state control functions, including vessel boarding procedures.

Garcia urged PCG personnel to strictly follow the following measures to keep themselves from being infected and to deter any possibility of spreading the deadly coronavirus strain:

1) Avoid close contact between port state control officers and ship’s crew;

2) Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks, latex gloves, and boots, especially if close contact with any of the ship’s crew cannot be avoided;

3) Properly and immediately dispose PPE after usage to avoid possible contaminations;

4) Maintain clean hands and use hand sanitizers at all times;

5) Ensure the availability and placement of hand sanitizers in all stations;

6) Immediately report if any of the ship’s crew is found to have developed any sign or symptom of flu or pneumonia during the boarding procedure;

7) Advice ship’s crew to limit or avoid unnecessary movement outside the vessel and to wear PPE if required to disembark to Philippine shores; and

8) Ensure that ship’s crew follow the guidelines in handling vessel’s waste disposal.

Garcia said coast guard personnel shall observe the abovementioned guidelines before and after boarding a suspected vessel that came from any country with reported cases of NCoV infection, based on their port of origin or last port call for the last 14 days.

Garcia said the imposition of more stringent measures for its port state control officers is in compliance with the directive issued by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade against the deadly virus.

The move follows the Department of Health’s confirmation of the first novel coronavirus case in the country.

Chinese tourist dead, 27 rescued in Boracay boat mishap

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Chinese national died while 27 others were rescued after an island-hopping boat capsized in waters off Boracay Island on Tuesday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The PCG said its personnel from Boracay sub-station were able to rescue 25 tourist passengers as well as three crew members of the boat.

However, the rescuers failed to revive a 45-year old female tourist despite performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Three other female passengers who needed medical assistance were brought to the nearest hospital.

“They have regained consciousness and are declared safe and in good condition,” the PCG said.

Remaining survivors are also safe and in good physical condition, the agency added.

The coast guard said motorbanca “Jocelyn 1” capsized along the waters off Barangay Balabag in Boracay after encountering strong winds that broke the boat’s outrigger on Tuesday morning.

PCG still searching for missing 7 Pangasinan fishermen

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday said search operations are still ongoing for the seven fishermen who went missing after they left the shores of Dasol, Pangasinan.

In a statement, the PCG said an aerial search is being conducted to look for the missing fishermen. Personnel from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy are also assisting in the search and rescue operations.

The missing fishermen onboard FB Narem 2 reportedly went out to catch some fish last January 6. The group was expected to return to Infanta, Pangasinan on January 14, according to fishing boat owner Christine Macaraig.

The vessel is skippered by Alberto Roldan, with crew members Roderick Montemayor, Homar Maglantay, Jerome Maglantay, Ejay Dela Cruz, Larry Legaspi, and Jefferson Bernabe.

The fishing vessel’s location was last reported at 60 to 90 nautical miles off Camaso Island in Dasol.

The PCG said another vessel will be deployed to help in the search effort.

The agency also called on other local fishers to report to authorities any sighting of the missing fishermen. — RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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