Friday, March 14, 2014

Coast Guard deploys 20 new speedboats in southeastern Mindanao

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 13): Coast Guard deploys 20 new speedboats in southeastern Mindanao

The Philippine Coast Guard South-eastern Mindanao District formally presented 20 speedboats to be used in its search and rescue, law-enforcement and oil-spill control functions.

Commodore George Ursabia, Jr., commander of the Philippine Coast Guard in the South-eastern Mindanao District  said the six-meter- aluminum speed boats were initially acquired from the Department of Transportation and Communication for deployment.

He said seven of the speed boats will be assigned in Davao Region, three in Davao Oriental, two in Balut, Island, Davao del Sur, three in Surigao del Sur while the rest will be deployed in Sarangani Province and General Santos City.

Ursabia said the new floating assets are part of the PCG’s effort to improve its response capability.

“More equipment will be coming to upgrade the capability of the Philippine Coast Guard,” he said.

Ursabia assured that the new equipment is durable and not prone to corrosion.

The speedboats are powered by four-stroke-40-horse-power-outboard-motor-engine and are designed to be deployed only at sea.

He said every boat is manned by three personnel and can carry up to nine to 10 drowning victims during search and rescue operation.

Ursabia admitted that the boats cannot be used in running after smugglers and terrorist group like the Abu Sayyaf since their boats use high-powered engines.

He assured that the government is acquiring more sea crafts for the sole purpose of running after and interdiction of smugglers and terror groups.

Retired Brig. General Loreto Rirao, director of the Office of Civil Defense 11 welcomed the new equipment calling it a new boost to the upgrading the capability of responders on water-based disasters.

He said the new equipment is very relevant given that many communities in the Davao Region are along the sea.

“We congratulate the Coast Guard for acquiring the new speed boats,” Rirao said.

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