China installs floating barrier at Bajo de Masinloc entry; PCG vessel damaged after another water cannon attack

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Two Chinese Coast Guard vessels subjected a Philippine Coast Guard patrol ship to water cannon attacks near the Bajo de Masinloc on Monday, April 29, 2024. (photo from the video posted by PCG spokesperson for WPS Comm. Jay Tarriela on X (formerly Twitter).

A patrol vessel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) was damaged following another incident of harassment of China Coast Guard ships using jet stream water cannons in the water  near Bajo De Masinloc.

Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said the incident happened on Monday morning, April 29 involving the PCG’s BRP Bagacay (MRRV-4410) and the BRP Bankaw (MMOV-3004) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

“The primary objective of this mission was to distribute fuel and food supplies, highlighting our commitment to supporting the fishermen in accordance with the President's food security policy,” said Tarriela.

It was during the conduct of patrol, according to the official, that they discovered that the Chinese Coast Guard has once again installed a 380-meter floating barrier that covers the entire entrance of the shoal.

The floating barriers, he said,  effectively restricted access to the area.

Citing reports from the PCG involved, Tarriela said the two vessels were assigned to conduct maritime patrols and distribution of fuel and food supplies to local fishermen when four China Coast Guard ships and six Chinese Maritime Militia vessels started harassing the Philippine vessels.

“During the patrol, the Philippine vessels encountered dangerous maneuvers and obstruction from four China Coast Guard vessels and six Chinese Maritime Militia vessels. At approximately 09:53, when the BFAR vessel was about 12 nautical miles from BDM, CCG-3305 utilized its water cannon, directly hitting the starboard astern of the BFAR vessel,” Tarriela said in his post on X (formerly Twitter).

“When the PCG vessel was approximately 1,000 yards east-southeast of BDM, CCG-3105 and CCG-5303 employed their jet stream water cannons, targeting the PCG vessel from both sides,” he added.

The strong water pressure, according to Tarriela, resulted in the damage to the railing and canopy. 


The damaged railing of the Philippine Coast Guard's BRP Bagacay (MRRV-4410) after a water cannon attack by Chinese Ciast Guard vessels near Bajo de Masinloc. (photo: PCG) 

“This damage serves as evidence of the forceful water pressure used by the China Coast Guard in their harassment of the Philippine vessels,” said Tarriela.

Despite what happened, Tarriela said both the PCG and BFAR vessels stood their ground and continued their maritime patrol in compliance with President Marcos’ order to take good care of local fishermen in the area. 

Personnel of the Philippine vessels, he said, were not deterred with the harassment.

“They were not deterred and will persist in carrying out their legitimate operations to support Filipino fishermen and ensure their safety,” said Tarriela.