Philippines Pulls Warship Off South China Sea Shoal
The Philippine Navy extricated one of its largest warships from the shoal where it ran aground last week near a hotly disputed region in the South China Sea. Two Philippine security officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that tugboats were used to pull the BRP Gregorio del Pilar from the shallow fringes of Half Moon Shoal, which the Philippines calls Hasa Hasa, before midnight. The frigate, which was being towed back to a Philippine port, ran aground during a routine patrol Wednesday night, damaging some of its propellers. Its more than 100 crewmen were unhurt. The barren shoal is on the eastern edge of the disputed Spratly archipelago, where tensions have run high in recent years after China built seven disputed reefs into man-made islands and reportedly installed missile defense systems. China hit same shoal in 2012 Philippine defense officials notified their Chinese counterparts after the accidental grounding of the Philippine Navy frigate at the shoal, which Beijing claims, to avoid any misunderstanding, said the two Philippine officials, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said last week that China offered to help but that the Philippines would handle it. A Chinese frigate ran aground on the shoal in 2012 and was pulled away by Chinese military ships. Half Moon Shoal lies about 110 kilometers (68 miles) from the southern tip of the western Philippine island of Palawan and south of the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, where a Philippine navy transport ship was intentionally grounded in 1999 and has since served as a Philippine military outpost. China has repeatedly demanded the now-rusty BRP Sierra Madre be removed from Second Thomas Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines and China. A military report seen... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Philippines Pulls Warship Off South China Sea Shoal, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Monday, 3 September, 2018
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