PHL, Chinese Coast Guard hold joint maritime drills in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2020   •   676

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard and Chinese Coast Guard on Wednesday conducted joint maritime drills on search and rescue and combating fire at sea in the waters off the Philippine capital.

In a statement, the PCG said participating Filipino and Chinese personnel were given a scenario involving a vessel that caught fire while transiting Manila waters.

In response, the PCG deployed its 44-meter multi-role response vessel 4401, BRP Tubbataha, while the Chinese team dispatched vessel 5204. Both ships were equipped with water cannons used in firefighting assistance.

Five passengers and eight crew aboard the distressed ship were also rescued using rigid hull inflatable boats with rescue swimmers to aid the victims.

The PCG said the drill allows coast guard personnel to exercise interoperability and strengthen their capabilities in responding to such crises.

The joint maritime drills on search and rescue, and combating fire at sea are part of the week-long activities of Chinese Coast Guard’s port call in Manila.

The visit aims to strengthen understanding, mutual trust, and cooperation between the Philippines and China Coast Guard in a bid to promote maritime security and maritime law enforcement amid the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

No casualty in MV Moreta fire off Marikaban Island, Batangas — PCG

Marje Pelayo   •   July 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) immediately dispatched BRP Boracay to help in the fire incident involving a Philippine-registered cargo vessel, MV Moreta Venture southwest off Marikaban Island in Batangas  around 4:53 a.m. Monday (July 20).

Commodore Leovigildo Panopio of the PCG-Southern Tagalog reported that there was no casualty in the incident.

The fire was immediately contained and declared fire out at around 8:00 a.m.

BRP Boracay (FPB-2401) was berthed in Sta. Clara, Batangas City when the PCG Command Center received a distress call from said cargo vessel.

Said cargo vessel, which is now dead on the water and drifting, will be towed to the nearest port for safety. 

The PCG is now coordinating with the nearest tugboat in the vicinity waters for assistance.

PCG sues energy company over Iloilo oil spill

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

The Philippine Coast Guard has filed a complaint against AC Energy, Inc. and its executives for the oil spill in Iloilo City last July 3.

The PCG filed the complaint at the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Section 107 of Republic Act 8550 or the Fisheries Code.

Based on the initial investigation of the PCG, they saw sufficient evidence to prove the negligence of the thermal energy firm.

If proven guilty, there will be an initial fine of P300,000 or up to P500,000 for damage. The company might also face suspension or closure.

“The PCG, as a law enforcement body in marine environmental protection, will ensure that the failure of one company serves as a relevant lesson to others. We need everyone’s cooperation to protect and conserve our limited marine resources,” said PCG Commandant Vice-Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr.

The Iloilo oil spill caused contamination in some coastal areas in the city and 23 affected communities. Around 400 families were displaced and marine organisms were damaged.

READ: Mangrove trees likely to die due to oil spill in Iloilo, expert says

Meanwhile, authorities continue the cleanup operation where 90% of the spilled oil was already recovered. –AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

PH Coast Guard commissions new helicopter to service

Robie de Guzman   •   June 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has commissioned into service one of its two new Airbus H145 light twin-engine helicopters.

In a statement, the PCG said its Commandant, Vice Admiral George Ursabia graced the “simple and private ceremony” on Thursday at the Coast Guard Aviation Force Hangar in the Domestic Airport Complex.

The PCG said the new air asset from Germany is a four-tonne-class twin-engine helicopter equipped with high-frequency radios, emergency flotation gear, fast roping, cargo sling, and searchlight.

It is also equipped with electro-optical systems to perform critical missions including search and rescue, medical evacuation, maritime patrol, and maritime law enforcement.

The PCG said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the new helicopter is being utilized in transporting personal protective equipment (PPE) sets and medical supplies in various cities and provinces across the country to support the nationwide battle for public health and safety.

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