China fires water cannons vs PH resupply vessel anew

PH vessel sustains ‘heavy damage’ in Chinese coast guard attack

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
, / 10:46 AM March 23, 2024

China-Armed Forces of the Philippines

Philippine Supply Vessel Unaizah May 4 en route to Ayungin Shoal for a Rotation and Resupply Mission was water cannoned by a China Coast Guard around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.(Screengrab from Armed Forces of the Philippines video posted on Facebook)

MANILA, Philippines—The China Coast Guard fired water cannons at a Philippine supply vessel on its way to Ayungin Shoal for a rotation and resupply mission, causing “heavy damage” to the boat, the Armed Forces of the Philippines reported Saturday.

“At 6:08 a.m. on March 23, 2024, China Coast Guard vessel BN21551 performed a dangerous maneuver by crossing the bow against Philippine Supply Vessel Unaizah May 4 [UM4] while en route to Ayungin Shoal for the rotation and resupply mission for the Filipino soldiers stationed in BRP Sierra Madre,” the AFP said in a Facebook post.


Unaizah May 4 set sail for Ayungin Shoal on Friday to carry out its mission of resupplying Philippine troops stationed at BRP Sierra Madre.


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

The Chinese vessel executed a reverse blocking maneuver against the supply vessel at 7:09 a.m., nearly causing a collision. Around 7:59 a.m., the Chinese coast guard began firing water cannons at the Unaizah May 4, “deliberately targeting and hitting” the supply boat.

At 8:38 a.m., the Philippine supply vessel was “subjected to direct water cannoning by two CCG vessels near Ayungin Shoal,” resulting in heavy damages by 8:52 a.m. due to the continued blasting from the Chinese vessels.

In an official statement, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said that BRP Cabra (MRRV 4409) and BRP Sindangan (MRRV 4407) were able to maneuver and reach the Unaizah May 4 to provide assistance.

Injured crew members received medical attention on BRP Cabra.


To complete the mission, BRP Sierra Madre deployed RHIBs to Unaizah May 4 to ferry personnel for rotation.

However, Chinese coast guard personnel were observed attempting to continue obstructing and impeding the resupply and rotation mission by placing a floating barrier at the northwestern entrance of the lagoon at Ayungin Shoal.

Despite this, the task force reported that the mission was successfully completed at 11:59 a.m.

READ: PH to China: Leave Ayungin Shoal immediately

This is the second time this month that the Unaizah May 4 has been targeted by the Chinese coast guard. In an earlier incident on March 5, the vessel’s windshield was shattered, causing injuries to the crew.

A Philippine coast guard ship escorting the Unaizah May 4, the BRP Cabra, was also blocked and surrounded by a Chinese coast guard ship and two suspected militia vessels, said Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela.

He added that the Chinese maritime forces were “disregarding international regulations aimed at preventing collisions at sea,” isolating the BRP Cabra from the resupply boat due to their “irresponsible and provocative behavior.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila has summoned China’s deputy ambassador to convey a protest against the Chinese coast guard’s actions, which it described as “unacceptable.”

The United States has renewed its warning that it is obligated to defend the Philippines, its oldest treaty ally in Asia, if Filipino forces, ships, and aircraft come under armed attack, including in the South China Sea. China has asked the U.S. to stop meddling in what it calls a purely Asian dispute.

The South China Sea is a key global trade route, with Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei also having overlapping claims in the resource-rich waters.

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, resupply mission, West Philippine Sea

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.