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Philippines informs China of grounded frigate amid sea feud

MANILA, Philippines — Two officials say the Philippines has notified China about a Philippine navy frigate that ran aground in the South China Sea to avoid any misunderstanding because the incident happened near a hotly disputed region.

The Philippine military said the BRP Gregorio del Pilar ran aground during a routine patrol Wednesday night in the vicinity of Half Moon Shoal, which is called Hasa Hasa in the Philippines, adding that its crew was unhurt. The barren shoal is on the eastern edge of the disputed Spratly archipelago.

The Philippine officials said Friday that China was informed of the accident through its military attache in Manila. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

Two Philippine tugboats are en route to extricate the frigate.