• Melo Acuna

BRP Ramon Alcaraz suffers minor damage

BRP Ramon Alcaraz now in Cochin

MANILA – Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said the BRP Ramon Alcaraz has safely returned to Cochin, India as the damage from the 10-minute fire was considered a “minor one.”

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the Department of National Defense said the ship was able to sail into port using its own power and was unassisted.

“One of the two sailors, who were injured in the fire, is now receiving treatment in an Indian medical facility, while the other is in sickbay aboard the vessel,” statement revealed.

Secretary Lorenzana said they will use existing diplomatic mechanisms and the existing defense cooperation agreement with India to facilitate and expedite work in the ship so it can return the country in the shortest possible time.

The Defense secretary said since the ship commissioned in the US Navy in 1968, was purchased from the United States several years ago, the US Navy’s Naval Systems Command (NAVSEA) will help in the repairs. It was then known as US Coast Guard Ship Dallas from 1968 to 2012.

Sources said the Philippine Navy ship caught fire hours after leaving Cochin Thursday night. Both BRP Ramon Alcaraz and BRP Davao del Sur left India last Thursday where it fetched 18 Filipino tourist repatriates and 200,000 pieces of donated face masks.

It was also learned the Filipinos and the face masks were on BRP Davao del Sur. The two ships are expected to reach Manila by month’s end. (Melo M. Acuña)

Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana. (File Photo/Melo M. Acuña)

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