Philippine Navy sailed through Taiwan Strait escorted by Coast Guard

Mid-August encounter first reported to public by Taiwan Coast Guard on Monday

BRP Conrado Yap

BRP Conrado Yap (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Two vessels belonging to the Philippine Navy sailed through the Taiwan Strait in mid-August, according to Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration, which disclosed information on its encounter with the ships on Monday night (Sept. 9).

The Tarlac-class landing platform ship BRP Davao del Sur and the Pohang-class corvette BRP Conrado Yap sailed southward through the Taiwan Strait in August and were met by Taiwanese Coast Guard ships stationed in Penghu. The Philippine ships activated their automatic identification systems (AIS) and accepted navigational guidance from the Taiwanese vessels.

Captain James Huang (黃聰正) of the Taiwanese Coast Guard expressed gratitude to the Philippine naval officers for obliging the Taiwanese Coast Guard by readily identifying themselves and accepting the escort through the Taiwan Strait, reports UDN. According to reports, the Philippine Navy took the route through the Taiwan Strait because of inclement weather conditions in the Western Pacific at the time.

According to Philippine media, the BRP Davao del Sur took part in the Russian Navy Day celebrations on July 28 in Vladivostok, before sailing into South Korean waters to rendezvous with the BRP Conrado Yap and sailing back to the Philippines together, where they arrived on Aug. 20. The BRP Conrado Yap, formerly the South Korean vessel ROKS Chungju, was recently purchased from Seoul as part of the Philippines' campaign to modernize its naval forces.

According to UDN, the two ships were traveling from north to south on a return journey to the Philippines. The weather conditions that prompted the Philippine vessels to transit the Strait were likely related to Tropical Storm Bailu, which was forming in the Eastern Pacific in the days before the Conrado Yap’s arrival in the Philippines.