China ships block convoy's mother boat from reaching Scarborough

Chinese ships block convoy’s mother boat from reaching Scarborough

/ 11:15 AM May 16, 2024

Chinese Coast Guard ships seen near mother boat of Scarborough convoy

China Coast Guard vessel with bow number 4108 came as near as 100 meters to the mother boat of the Scarborough Shoal civilian convoy. ( ERIC MENDOZA)

ABOARD FBCA BING BING — The mother boat of a civilian convoy aiming to bring supplies to Filipino fishermen could not reach Scarborough Shoal after being shadowed by China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels.

A Chinese navy warship was also spotted near this mother boat as it headed back to Subic port.


“It is not advisable to proceed because it is already risky,” Agustin Bustillos, the captain of the mother ship Fbca Bing Bing told here in the West Philippine Sea.


According to Bustillos, the Atin Ito coalition’s mother boat was about 50 nautical miles away from the shoal as of 8:30 a.m., the nearest it could get to the shoal.

Mother ship hounded since Wednesday

He said this mother boat had been relentlessly hounded by CCG vessels since Wednesday evening, even as it only reached about 70 nautical miles away from the sandbank.

At about 6:00 p.m., a CCG vessel with bow number 4109 was first spotted in the area, while the second CCG vessel with bow number 4108 was spotted at about 6:15 p.m., coming as close as 100 meters from Fbca Bing Bing.

On Thursday morning, a CCG vessel with bow number 4203 was found shadowing this mother boat, coming as close as 200 meters as of 9:30 a.m.

Bustillos observed this CCG vessel had followed the mother boat since Wednesday night.


As of Thursday noon, a People’s Liberation Army-Navy warship with bow number 668 was also  seen within the vicinity of the mother boat. 

According to Atin Ito chief convenor Rafaela David, the mother boat will return to Subic port at midnight on Friday.

Advance team

Meanwhile, the “advance team” of the mother boat has already provided supplies to the fishermen relatively near the sandbank, according to David.

READ: ‘Hope for best, prepared for worst’: Scarborough civilian convoy starts

However, according to the captain, the advance team only reached about 25 to 30 nautical miles away from the shoal.

In order for the team to be able to say it has reached the shoal’s territorial waters, it has to be within 12 nautical miles near the shoal.

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The convoy has already traveled 70 miles from the take off point in Subic before it stopped and returned.

Nevertheless, David said 1,000 liters of diesel and 200 food packs were distributed to the fishers in the area despite the presence of a People’s Liberation Army-Navy ship with bow number 175.

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TAGS: Atin Ito, Scarborough Shoal, West Philippine Sea

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