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PH supply vessel sustains ‘heavy damage’ after being cannoned by China Coast Guard

by Kiko Cueto

THE Philippine Coast Guard on Saturday reported that a Philippine vessel that was carrying supplies for Filipino troops at the Ayungin Shoal Filipino were blasted by water cannons by two Chinese Coast Guard ships, sustaining “heavy damage”

Unaizah May 4 (UM4) was enroute for the BRP Sierra Madre at 8:52 a.m., when the incident occurred.

“Unaizah May 4 (UM4) sustained heavy damages… due to the continued blasting of water cannons from two CCG vessels,” the PCG said. 

Similar incidents had been occuring in the West Philippine Sea with majority of the area being claimed by China.

The PCG noted that at 6 a.m., a CCG made a “dangerous maneuver of crossing the bow” of UM4.

Then after an hour, it conducted a “reverse blocking maneuver” against UM4n as it approached the Ayungin Shoal “causing near collision.”

A few minutes later, the Philippine Coast Guard vessel MRRV 4409 was encircled and impeded by the CCG vessel and two Chinese militia ships. 

“MRRV 4409 has been isolated from the resupply boat due to the irresponsible and provocative behavior of the Chinese maritime forces, who have shown a disregard for the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS),” they said.

Before 8 a.m., the CCG “started blasting water cannon” at UM4 “deliberately targeting and hitting supply boat.” 

The UM4 is the same vessel that sustained damage during a water cannon by the CCG earlier this month.

A total of four Filipino Navy crew members were injured in that incident.

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