Philippine Coast Guard reports close distance manoeuvring of Chinese vessel in Scarborough Shoal
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has provided the details of a recent close distance manoeuvring incident involving a vessel of the China Coast Guard (CCG) in the waters of Scarborough Shoal just off the west coast of the Philippine island of Luzon.
In a statement released on Sunday, March 27, the PCG said the multi-role response vessel (MRRV) BRP Malabrigo was conducting a maritime patrol in the waters of the shoal on March 2 when a CCG vessel identified by the hull number 3305 executed a series of close distance manoeuvres only approximately 19 metres away.
The PCG said the Chinese vessel constrained the manoeuvring space of the MRRV in violation of COLREGS.
PCG commandant Admiral Artemio M. Abu said the March 2 occurrence was the fourth reported close distance manoeuvring incident involving CCG vessels in Scarborough Shoal, which the Philippines claims as within its jurisdiction in the South China Sea. The three earlier incidents occurred within a two-week period between mid-May and early June 2021.
Abu added that the Chinese vessels’ behaviour in all four occurrences increased the risk of collision with nearby PCG vessels.
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