The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) deploys BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) and BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702) in a two-day joint towing exercise in the vicinity waters off Manila Bay from 15 to 16 June 2022.
The two 97-meter multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) and their sailing crew train in handling emergency towing gear, selecting the correct tow line, and throwing tow lines properly to get hold of the ship.
According to BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701)'s Commanding Officer, CG Commander Erwin Tolentino, the sailing crew needs to know how to properly conduct “emergency towing of ships” as the ship's towing gear may part due to improper and/or unsafe connection.
"This error may cause towing lines to fall into the propellers. We need to avoid this incident because towing equipment will malfunction if this happened," CG Commander Tolentino added.
On the first day of the joint towing exercise today, 15 June 2022, participating Coast Guard ships displayed relevant “day shapes” or signals indicating the status of a vessel to other ships on navigational waters during daylight hours, while operations were being conducted.
Moreover, the PCG observed the safety of sailing crew in compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea: Rules of the Road (1972) and International Safety and Management Code (ISM) Code.
Meanwhile, BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702)'s Commanding Officer, CG Commander Patrick Babag shared that the joint towing exercise also assessed the individual capacity of the newly acquired PCG vessels.
"Towing exercises are part of the continuous training provided by the shipbuilder, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. to simulate high-risk operations," CG Commander Babag furthered.
Representatives from the Japan Coast Guard - Mobile Cooperation Team and United States Coast Guard - Mobile Training Team were also present to observe the joint towing exercise and provide points for improvement.