Responders determine cause of flooding on vessel in American Samoa

HONOLULU — Responders have located and addressed the cause of flooding on the 145-foot passenger-ferry Sili in Pago Pago, Sunday.

A salvage dive team located a two-inch diameter hole on the port side of the engineroom and applied a temporary patch. The vessel is no longer taking on water. Any pollution from the incident has been recovered or dissipated. Containment booms will remain in place, and a watchstander will stay on the vessel to monitor the situation. A long term plan for the ship is in development.

“The safety of residents and responders is our priority, and while no one wants something like this to happen, thankfully it occurred at the pier where they swiftly addressed the issue,” said Lt. Erica Brewton, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Incident Management Division. “The application of protective booming and a temporary patch helped protect the environment, we will continue to work with our Port partners ensuring a full and safe resolution to the incident.”

At 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report the vessel Sili taking on water at the main pier in Pago Pago. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa personnel responded alongside local authorities and members of SOLAR, an oil spill response organization. They deployed containment and sorbent booms around the vessel. Local salvage divers were then able to determine the cause of the flooding and patch the hole Sunday.

The vessel will remain out of service until it is dry docked and permanent repairs effected. Dry dock availability is scheduled for the end of March. MSD American Samoa personnel will continue to monitor and advise.

The maximum pollution potential is reportedly 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 2,000 gallons of lube oil. There is still no significant effect from the weather at this time.

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