BRP Tarlac operational despite collision damage

MANILA — The BRP Tarlac, the Philippine Navy’s (PN) largest and newest warship, remains operational despite sustaining minor dents and scratches due to collision with an oil tanker off Zamboanga City on Monday night.

This was disclosed by PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a message to reporters Tuesday.

“LD-601 (BRP Tarlac) is involved in the ongoing operations against the Abu Sayyaf (where) she serves as command-and-control for Fleet-Marine component. She incurred minor dents on her starboard (right) side because of the incident and it will not affect her role in said operations,” he added.

Since the damage is only minor, Lincuna said repair will take place during BRP Tarlac’s scheduled “deploy, sustain, repair and training” cycle.

He added that the ship can do all roles with no trouble at all.

“Investigation by the Philippine Coast Guard Station is ongoing to determine the circumstances of the collision,” Lincuna said.

Rear Adm. Jorge Amba, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, disclosed the incident occurred around 7:47 p.m. Monday, 1000 yards south of the Ensign Majini Pier at Naval Station Romulo Espaldon, this city.

Amba said BRP-Tarlac was anchored in the area when the foreign tanker ship, M/T Tosca, bumped the Navy boat.

Amba said no one was hurt among crew members while BRP-Tarlac sustained minor damage in her right forward bulwark and side ramp.

BRP Tarlac was rammed by the M/T Tosca, a Liberian-flagged tanker, crewed by 21 Filipinos and Ukrainians.

The merchant ship is skippered by Capt. Dominador Tanguas and is headed for Bintulo, Malaysia at the time of the collision.

“Investigation by the Philippine Coast Guard Station is ongoing to determine the circumstances of the collision,” Lincuna said.

BRP Tarlac was commissioned during short ceremonies at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor last June 1.

She arrived in the Philippines last May 14 after a five-day journey from PT PAL (Persero)’s shipyard in Surabaya which started on May 9.

The Philippines has two orders of SSV with the Indonesian shipbuilder worth PHP3.8 billion.

She was formally presented to the public at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor last May 16.

BRP Tarlac was assigned to the Philippine Fleet’s Sealift Amphibious Force.

The ship has an overall length of 120 meters,breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and carry a payload of 2,800 tons.

She has a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots and a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles.

Her sister-ship is expected to be delivered by May 2017. The ship has a complement of 121 officers and enlisted personnel.

She can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters. Priam Nepomuceno & Ely Dumaboc/PNA/northboundasia.com