Sail Plan Corner

Maritime Situational Awareness

MMEA intercepts Vietnamese fishing boat off Kudat, six detained

KOTA KINABALU: Maritime authorities have detained six crewmen of a Vietnamese vessel that was found to have intruded Malaysian waters off Sabah’s northern Kudat district. The fishing boat was spotted by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) about 101...

China’s actions in Taiwan Strait may extend to South China Sea disputes

United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit to Taiwan last month dominated headlines for its potential ramification on cross-strait relations. In response, China carried out the largest-ever military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, ushering in what...

China develops extra-large underwater drones

Besides aerial unmanned vehicles (UAVs), or drones, China has also been developing submersibles, both manned and unmanned, which are easily applicable for military use. A new report in Naval News, a publication focused on global naval developments, said the People’s...

US aircraft carrier heading to South Korea for joint drills

  US-South Korean military exercises come after North Korea declared its nuclear programme ‘irreversible’. A United States aircraft carrier will visit South Korea for the first time since 2018 for joint military drills later this week, amid growing concerns over North...

Biden says US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion

WASHINGTON: United States President Joe Biden said US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, his most explicit statement so far on the issue, something sure to anger Beijing. Asked in a CBS 60 Minutes interview broadcast on Sunday (Sep 18)...

PAG-ASA Daily Weather Update

“We operate, maintain and sustain the Philippine Navy Maritime Situational Awareness System”

“We maintain a reliable database of collected maritime information”

“We provide maritime information in order to support the Philippine Navy in the accomplishment of its mission”

Ayungin Shoal — Internationally known as “Second Thomas Reef”. It is a shoal/atoll in the Spratly Islands 105 nautical miles (194 km; 121 mi) west of Palawan. It is tear-drop shaped atoll, 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi) long North-South and fringed with coral reefs. The coral rim surrounds a lagoon which has depths of up to 27 metres (89 ft) and is accessible to small boats from the East. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) maintains a presence in the shoal through the Philippine Navy vessel BRP Sierre Madre (LS57).

Kota Island — Kota is a Philippine word for a “Fort” and is internationally known as “Loaita Island”. Its size is approximately 6.45 hectares. It is located 22 miles southeast of Pag-asa. It fringes the Laoita bank and reef. Its calcarenite outcrop is visible along its western side at low tide. The present shape of the island indicates sand build-up along its eastern side.

Lawak Island — Meaning “Vastness“ and internationally known as “Nanshan Island”. It has an area of 7.93 hectares. It is located 98 miles (158 km) east of Pag-asa Island. This island is a bird sanctuary. It has a small lagoon where young birds practice to wade and dive, safe from predators of the open sea. Near the fringes of the breakwaters (approx. 2 miles (3 km) from the island), intact hard coral reefs were observed to retain their natural environment and beautiful tropical fishes were seen colonizing these coral beds of varying colors.

Likas Island — Literally means “Natural” and internationally known as “West York Island”. The second largest Phil Island in KIG has a total area of 18.6 hectares is located 47 miles northeast of Pag-asa. Its outcrops are visible on the southern and eastern portion of the island during low tides. This island is a sanctuary for giant sea turtles (pawikan) that lay their eggs on the island all year round. The high salinity of the ground water on the island retards the growth of introduced trees like coconuts, ipil-ipil, and other types.

Pag-Asa Island — Or “Hope” and internationally known as “Thitu Island”. With an area of 37.2 hectares, it is the largest of the Philippine-administered islands. It lies about 480 kilometers (300 mi) west of Puerto Princesa City. The Philippine government formally established the Municipality of Kalayaan on Pag-asa Island on 11 June 1978, by virtue of Presidential Decree 1596 series of 1978. Pag-asa Island is low-lying, with trees, shrubs and sand bars. It is surrounded by coral reefs, populated with rusting wrecks visible above water.

Panata Island — Means “Oath“ and internationally known as “Lankiam Cay”. It has an area of 0.44 ha and is located about 7 nautical miles eastnortheast of Kota Island. At one time the island had a surface area of more than 5 ha, but strong waves and strong typhoons eventually washed out the sandy surface (beach) of the island leaving behind the calcarenite foundation that can be seen at low tide.

Parola Island — Means “Lighthouse” and Internationally known as “Northeast Cay”. It is the third largest of the Philippine-occupied islands, about 12.7 hectares. It is 1.75 miles (2.82 km) north of Vietnamese-occupied Southwest Cay, and they are visible from each other. It is located 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Pag-asa Island. Some of the cay’s outcrops are visible on its western side.

Patag Island — Literally means “Flat“ and internationally known as “Flat Island” It has an area of 0.57 hectares (5,700 sq. m), and is about 10 km (6 nautical miles) north of Philippine-occupied Lawak Island. It is an example of a cay. It changes its shape seasonally. The sand build up will depend largely on the direction of prevailing wind and waves. Presently, it takes the shape of an elongated one, three years ago it had a shape like that of a crescent moon, a nd years back it formed the shape of a letter “S”. It is barren of any vegetation.

Rizal Reef — Internationally known as “Commodore Reef”. It appears as two atolls joined by a reef. It is located west of Balabac, about 110 nautical miles and near the Malaysian border. It is a typical reef lying underwater and the existing structures and facilities in this area are manned by the AFP.

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