MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) announced that its offshore patrol vessel, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS-19), is now ready to sail and mission capable four years after its grounding off Hasa-Hasa Shoal in August 2018.
"PN patrol ship, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS-15) is now ready to set sail after years of collective efforts to bring back her operational readiness when she experienced a sea mishap way back August 29, 2018, while conducting a maritime patrol on the West Philippine Sea," Navy spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said in a statement Sunday night.
He also added that the ship has undergone several repairs and upgrades to ensure the restoration of its seaworthiness for maritime operations.
BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is the lead ship of the Del Pilar-class offshore patrol vessels which also consists of BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) and BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17).
All three ships are former US Coast Guard cutters acquired from 2011 to 2016.
"Her propulsion system was successfully restored last August 2022 and performed a series of sea trials and endurance run with satisfactory results. System upgrades were also made, enhancing her capability for Maritime Domain Awareness," Negranza added.
To ensure that BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is sea-ready, an Operational Readiness Evaluation facilitated by the Fleet Operation Readiness Training and Evaluation Group last Sept. 12 to 16 was conducted.
"PS-15 satisfactorily passed all tests. She subsequently upgraded her operational readiness to ready-for-sea status and is now underway to her designated area of operations," Negranza said.
One of the ship's two variable pitch propellers was damaged, along with its propeller hub, after it ran aground off Hasa-Hasa Shoal in August 2018.
Difficulties in procuring parts and the pandemic moved the completion of the repairs of the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar to the latter part of 2021. (PNA)