“The operation to pull out the Philippine Navy ship that ran aground in Hasa-Hasa Shoal that started at around 2 p.m. Monday was a success,” Col. Edgard Arevalo, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said yesterday.
AFP Public Affairs Office
BRP Gregorio del Pilar towed out of Hasa-Hasa Shoal
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - September 5, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The grounded Navy vessel BRP Gregorio del Pilar was pulled out of Hasa-Hasa (Half Moon) Shoal late Monday, officials said.

“The operation to pull out the Philippine Navy ship that ran aground in Hasa-Hasa Shoal that started at around 2 p.m. Monday was a success,” Col. Edgard Arevalo, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said yesterday.

Arevalo cited the report of Commodore Rommel Jason Galang, commander of Joint Task Force Goyong, who said the ship was extricated from the shoal before midnight Monday.

Arevalo said preparation for the towing of the ship to Subic is now underway.

The ongoing preparations would include the thorough inspection of the vessel’s current state after her successful removal from the shallow portion of Hasa-Hasa Shoal by combined military and civilian salvage teams.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a former US Coast Guard cutter, ran aground on Hasa-Hasa Shoal in the West Philippines Sea, some 60 nautical miles off Batazara town in Palawan on Wednesday.

The warship was conducting a patrol mission when its starboard side hit a submerged feature in Hasa-Hasa Shoal. The accident is now under investigation.

Following the incident, the AFP activated Joint Task Force Goyong to coordinate military and civilian efforts to pull the grounded warship off the reef.

China had offered to help but Philippine defense and military officials declined the offer, saying they have the tools to get the job done.

In 2012, a Chinese frigate patrolling the region also ran aground at Hasa-Hasa. 

The shoal is a rich fishing ground and also serves as trading point of unscrupulous local fish traders in selling their illegal catch such as sea turtles and even sharks to their Chinese patrons.

Hasa-Hasa is the military’s gateway in its regular troop rotation and re-provisioning operations at Rizal Reef Detachment, the most isolated military outpost in the disputed Spratlys archipelago.

BRP GREGORIO DEL PILAR HASA-HASA (HALF MOON) SHOAL
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