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Navy to probe frigate incident in Hasa-Hasa Shoal

THE PHILIPPINE NAVY is set to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the grounding of the frigate BRP Gregorio Del Pilar in Hasa-Hasa Shoal or Half-Moon Shoal off Palawan province.

The frigate was pulled out from the shoal and is on its way to Subic repair facility. “Yung ship is on its way to Subic, once it arrives in Subic, a comprehensive investigation will be undertaken,” said Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad.

A Philippine Air Force shows the navy frigate stuck in Hasa-Hasa Shoal.

BRP Gregorio Del Pilar ran aground on August 29 and the incident damaged the frigate. Initial damage assessment indicated that the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is limited to the ship’s starboard (right) propeller, which was detached due to the grounding, but repairable.

The frigate is one of three Hamilton-class cutters acquired by the Philippine Navy from the United States Coas Guard and converted into frigates.

These ships have a gross tonnage of 3,250 tons, a length of 378 feet, beam of 43 feet, and draft of 15 feet while its propulsion systems consist of two diesel engines and two gas turbine engines, giving it a top speed of 29 knots. The vessels have a cruising range of 14,000 miles and have a sea and loiter time of 45 days and armed with a 76-mm Oto Melara automatic cannon, 25-mm and 20-mm light cannons and .50 caliber machine guns. (Priam Nepomuceno)


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