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Rescue of injured personnel lasted for 12 hours

By: Jean Mangaluz - Inquirer.net | June 21,2024 - 09:45 PM

west philippine sea

This screengrab taken from a handout video filmed on June 17, 2024 and released by Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office (AFP-PAO) on June 19 shows Chinese coast guard personnel (L,R) aboard their inflatable boats blocking Philippine navy boats (C) during a confrontation at the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The Philippine military said on June 19, the Chinese coast guard rammed and boarded Filipino navy boats in a violent confrontation in the South China Sea this week in which a Filipino sailor lost a thumb. China defended its actions, with its foreign ministry saying that “no direct measures” were taken against Filipino personnel. ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES-PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — It took 12 hours to rescue the injured military personnel in Ayungin Shoal, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Friday.

Commodore Jay Tarriela, the agency’s spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said they received news of the injured Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel as early as 10 am.

“It took us more than 12 hours to retrieve our injured personnel on board BRP Sierra Madre,” said Tarriela in an ambush interview in Malacañan Palace.

Tarriela said that the PCG deployed BRP Cabra and BRP Bagacay to rescue the boats towed by the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) and to do medical evacuation for the personnel.

The PCG tried to coordinate with the CCG, but they were still harassed not just by Coast Guard vessels but People’s Liberation Army boats as well.

“Only around 10:30 [p.m.] were we able to retrieve the injured personnel… Despite coordinated efforts to retrieve the injured AFP personnel, we were still subjected to dangerous maneuvers and harassment by the Chinese Coast Guard,” said Tarriela.

The most recent confrontation with the CCG marks a significant escalation in Beijing’s years-long maritime expansion within Philippine territories.

CCG personnel attacked Philippine Navy crewmen, injuring eight and leaving one without a thumb.

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TAGS: China Coast Guard, West philippine Sea

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