Probe on BRP Gregorio Del Pilar grounding to take place in Subic

A comprehensive investigation will be conducted on the grounding of Navy flagship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF-15) in Hasa-Hasa (international name Half-Moon) Shoal, Palawan once the ship arrives at the Subic repair facility.

“‘Yung (The) ship is on (its) way to Subic, once it arrives in Subic, a comprehensive investigation will be undertaken,” Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad told reporters Wednesday.

BRP Gregorio Del Pilar ran aground off Hasa-Hasa Shoal last August 29.

“I have directed the CO (commanding officer of the ship) to ensure na safe yung barko,” he added.

Earlier, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said BRP Gregorio Del Pilar will be in Subic within “two days and 15 hours”.

The ship is now being towed to Subic by the tugboats earlier dispatched to the scene. Initial damage assessment indicated that the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is limited to the ship’s starboard (right) propeller, which was earlier reported to have been detached due to the grounding, but repairable.

Detoyato added that the hull has no punctures while the rudder is largely intact. BRP Gregorio Del Pilar was towed cleared from Hasa-Hasa Shoal around 11:54 p.m. Monday.

The BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is one of three Hamilton-class cutters acquired by the PN from the United States Coard Guard and converted into frigates. These ships have a gross tonnage of 3,250 tons, a length of 378 feet, beam of 43 feet, and draft of 15 feet while its propulsion systems consist of two diesel engines and two gas turbine engines, giving it a top speed of 29 knots.

These vessels have a cruising range of 14,000 miles and has a sea and loiter time of 45 days and armed with a 76-mm Oto Melara automatic cannon, 25-mm and 20-mm light cannons and .50 caliber machine guns.