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UPDATE: Sunken ship spills oil in harbor

reporters@samoanews.com
[photo: Jeff Hayner]

The U.S. Coast Guard has given an estimate of the number of gallons of oil which spilled into Pago Pago Harbor on Sunday when an old fishing boat sank. The federal agency is also working to identify the owner of the vessel.

Lt. Steven Caskey, supervisor of the local Coast Guard Safety Detachment Unit, said the clean up continued as of late Monday morning and they have estimated that about 500 to 1,000 gallons of oil spilled in the harbor.

He said booms have been deployed to contain and help mitigate the spill from the vessel, which is believed to have been out of operation for about six years now. He said the Coast Guard will eventually be able to identify the owner of the vessel.

Asked if the owner will be fined for the oil spill, Caskey said the owner “will be responsible for the money to pay for the clean up, and the amount of money is estimated at around $40,000.”

Since the vessel sank Sunday, the Coast Guard has worked to re-float the vessel with clean up operations ongoing as of late Monday morning, despite high winds and heavy rain in the bay area.

The sinking boat was spotted Sunday afternoon at the Malaloa Dock in Fagatogo where it was leaking fuel into the bay. As seen here, a boom to contain the fuel surrounds the boat and the immediate area, with the AS- Environmental Protection Agency on the scene.



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