Boat water cannoned by China to be used anew in next mission

Boat water cannoned by China to be used anew in next Ayungin mission

/ 04:39 PM March 07, 2024

China Coast Guard (CCG) to block Philippine ships headed for the BRP Sierra Madre

ASSAULT ON THE HIGH SEAS – Manila has asked Beijing to order all its vessels to leave Ayungin Shoal following the “dangerous maneuvers” made by the China Coast Guard (CCG) to block Philippine ships headed for the BRP Sierra Madre on Tuesday. An image from aerial footage released by the Philippine Coast Guard shows two CCG vessels blasting their water cannons at Unaizah May 4 (center). | PHOTO: “AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

MANILA, Philippines — The biggest resupply boat which was recently water cannoned by two China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels will be used again for the next mission in Ayungin Shoal, an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) official said on Thursday.

The Unaizah Mae 4 was deployed for the first time on Tuesday to test if it could come close to the BRP Sierra Madre, according to AFP Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos.


“This was the first time; we would test if it can enter Ayungin Shoal because its draft is deeper, deeper than the other Unaizah Maes,” Carlos said, partly in Filipino, to reporters during a phone interview.


Due to the depth of its hull, there is a risk of Unaizah Mae 4 running aground the low-tide elevation where the World War-II era warship is grounded.

Two CCG vessels blasted water cannons at Unaizah Mae 4, which led to minor damage and injury of four of the Navy personnel.

“The repairs are nothing major, only the replacement of the windshield. That’s easy [to replace], then the CCTV cameras that are damaged, it’s also easy to replace them,” Carlos said.

“It might have been repaired by this time,” he also noted.

Carlos was also inside the vessel when the incident occurred, but said he was unharmed. One of the resupply boats — Unaizah Mae 1 —  successfully delivered supplies to the BRP Sierra Madre.


The Unaizah Mae 4 is twice as big as the other resupply boats and already underwent “test missions” in Cuyo and Balabac in Palawan, according to the official. 

The AFP has three other available ships, one of which — Unaizah Mae 2 — is still being repaired, but is expected to be operational next month, he also said.

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TAGS: vessel, West Philippine Sea

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