USCG action resumes in A. Samoa in response to grounded vessel


Cmdr. Ulysses Mullins, deputy sector commander Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, and chief warrant officer Bryan Anderson, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, discuss future operations for the removal of product aboard the 88-foot commercial fishing vessel Chui Zai Fa No. 1 grounded about 300 yards off Leone Bay, American Samoa, Feb. 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle)

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa—The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port has reopened the port of Pago Pago to commercial traffic Sunday, following Tropical Cyclone Gita, and work to remove the Chui Zai Fa No. 1 continues.

“I really appreciate the exceptional effort of our port partners in American Samoa during this difficult time,” said Capt. Mike Long, Coast Guard Captain of the Port. “Reopening the port is a vital step in the reconstitution of the maritime transportation system in American Samoa and allows for the free flow of commerce to the island.”

Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa conducted a post-storm port survey aboard the tug Sailele and deemed the port safe to be reopened to commercial traffic.

A Coast Guard HC-130 airplane crew, Coast Guard response personnel and a FEMA representative arrived in American Samoa late Saturday afternoon from Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, to conduct an aerial post-storm assessment. 

High winds remain a concern through the remainder of the weekend, as responders work to assess the region and resume the response to the grounded 88-foot commercial fishing vessel Chui Zai Fa No. 1, located approximately 300 yards off Leone Bay.

The owner of the Chui Zai Fa No. 1 is the responsible party and is actively working with Coast Guard officials and local authorities to develop a salvage plan for the grounded fishing vessel.

A small craft advisory remains in effect for American Samoa with frequent showers and scattered thunderstorms. Winds are reportedly 23 to 35 mph with seas at 12 to 16 feet. Power and water outages are reportedly still affecting the island.

The public is reminded that the site immediately around the vessel and the vessel itself are dangerous. It is in a heavy surf zone and the structure of the vessel is compromised. Non-response personnel should remain clear of the vessel and surrounding area. 

The Taiwanese-flagged vessel reportedly caught fire Nov. 4, 2017, in international waters and remained adrift until its grounding Monday. (USCG)

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