Philippines Navy extricates large warship from S. China Sea shoal

Philippines Navy extricates large warship from S. China Sea shoal

The Philippines Navy has successfully extricated one of its largest warships, which ran aground in a shoal near a disputed area in the South China Sea, AP reports. Tugboats were used to pull the BRP Gregorio del Pilar from the shallow fringes of Half Moon Shoal, which the Philippines calls Hasa Hasa, before midnight, security officials said on Tuesday. The frigate, which was being towed back to a Philippines port, ran aground during a routine patrol Wednesday night, damaging some of its propellers. Its more than 100 crewmen were unhurt. The barren shoal is on the eastern edge of the disputed Spratly archipelago. Tensions have been running high there in recent years after China transformed seven disputed reefs into islands and reportedly installed missile defense systems.