Coast Guard responds to grounded vessel near Matuu Bay

14th Coast Guard District NewsPago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA – Coast Guardsmen from Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa responded to a grounded fishing vessel in the vicinity of Matuu Bay at 5:30 a.m., Thursday.

The fishing vessel Inja ran aground on a reef approximately 100 yards offshore while returning from a fishing trip. Another ship in the area witnessed the grounding and notified the Coast Guard.

The vessel’s owner has hired the response organization SOLAR Inc. to prevent pollution from entering the environment. Since commencing site operations SOLAR Inc., under the supervision of the Coast Guard, has made steady progress to secure the 400 gallons of diesel fuel and 100 gallons of used oil aboard the vessel.

The vessel owner is currently dewatering the fish holds and offloading equipment from its decks to lighten the vessel. The remaining work includes removal of potential onboard contaminates to accomplish the primary goal of the operation to protect the environment.

The Coast Guard is working closely with local American Samoa Marine Patrol, Port Authority officials, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and NOAA to oversee safe removal of the vessel from the reef.

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