4 PH Navy crew hurt by China Coast Guard's water cannon attack

4 PH Navy crew hurt by China Coast Guard’s water cannon attack

/ 01:53 PM March 05, 2024

PH Navy crew hurt by China Coast Guard's water cannon attack

FILE PHOTO: This is an aerial photo from a diplomatic source showing a boat operated by the Philippine Navy being shot with a powerful stream of water by a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel. On Tuesday, March 5, 2024, the CCG again fired a water cannon at a Philippine ship involved in a resupply mission in the West Philippine Sea, injuring at least four Navy crew. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — At least four Philippine Navy personnel were injured following China Coast Guard’s (CCG) firing of a water cannon at a Philippine ship involved in a resupply mission in the West Philippine Sea on Tuesday.

The National Security Council (NSC) said the Navy members were aboard Unaizah Mae 4 (UM4) — one of the resupply boats — which was attacked by two CCG vessels using their water cannons at around 8:15 a.m.


“The use of water cannons by the CCG vessels shattered the windshield of UM4, causing minor injuries to at least four personnel on board,” the NSC said in a statement.


The NSC said Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel from the BRP Sindangan (MRRV-4407) treated the injured Navy personnel.

At around 6:32 a.m., PCG and CCG vessels collided in the West Philippine Sea, causing “minor structural damage” to the Philippines’ ship, the NSC said.

“Throughout the operation, the PCG vessels faced dangerous maneuvers and blocking from Chinese Coast Guard vessels and Chinese Maritime Militia,” said Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

“Their reckless and illegal actions led to a collision between MRRV-4407 and China Coast Guard 21555 that resulted in minor structural damage to the PCG vessel,” Tarriela added.

The BRP Sindangan and PCG’s sister ship had been deployed to support AFP’s Rore, while two Philippine Navy vessels were also assisting the resupply mission.


The Philippine military’s Rore proceeded despite the incident, with one of the resupply ships — Unaizah May 1 — docking near the BRP Sierra Madre at 9:30 a.m.

The Unaizah Mae 1 then departed the World War II-era Navy outpost  at 10:54 a.m.

The collision was the second such incident since December when Chinese ships blasted water cannon at Philippine boats.

In 2023, CCG fired water cannons at Philippine vessels in four instances.

Last Aug. 6, CCG fired a water cannon causing damage to one of the boats contracted to resupply BRP Sierra Madre. Another water cannon attack occurred on Nov. 10 during a similar mission in the Philippine military outpost.

On Dec. 9, the CCG also fired a water cannon against Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources vessels on a humanitarian mission in Scarborough Shoal, causing significant damage to one of the Filipino vessels.

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This was followed by another water cannon attack on Dec. 10 on a resupply mission in the BRP Sierra Madre, concurrent with the civilian-led Christmas convoy in the WPS.

China has claimed it owns almost the entire South China Sea, brushing aside competing claims from a host of Southeast Asian nations and an international ruling that declared their case baseless.

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: China Coast Guard, Philippine Navy, West Philippine Sea

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