BACOLOD CITY – BRP Gabriela Silang, the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) largest offshore patrol vessel (OPV), is currently on a port visit in this city.
Coming from Surigao port, the vessel helmed by Commander Alberto Ferre, docked at the Bredco port on Friday morning, after several days of logistical run and transport of locally-stranded individuals in Mindanao.
“We are here for a port visit. We also want to ensure that there is a vessel on stand-by in preparation for the typhoon,” Ferre said in a telephone interview.
On Oct. 19, the 60-crew vessel sailed from Manila going to Mindanao, docking in ports of Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, General Santos, Davao, and Surigao.
This is the second time BRP Gabriela Silang docked in Bacolod after its logistics run last May 29 to deliver supplies of personal protective equipment here.
One of the world’s largest and most advanced aluminum hull OPV so far, it can ferry around 500 people in a single voyage. It also has a helipad, a recompression chamber, and firefighting capability.
With a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 15 knots, it has an endurance of up to five-week non-stop operations.
The 83-meter BRP Gabriela Silang, which was built by French shipbuilder OCEA, is the first OPV acquired by the Philippines and the most modern vessel of the PCG.
The vessel left Saint-Nazaire, France for its maiden voyage on Dec. 30, 2019, and sailed to the Middle East for overseas Filipino workers ferry missions before finally reaching the Philippines in April this year. (PNA)
By Nanette Guadalquiver