LOADED FUEL TANKER DOCKS USING BARGES TO EXTEND DEPTH FOR MOORING
The fully loaded Oil/Chemical Tanker Maohi was successfully moored at the refueling dock in Utulei this past Tuesday after fuel dock personnel nested two barges between the tanker and the dock and then using a technique called ‘breast-out’ secured the tanker to the barges. (Barge pictured at bottom of tanker ladder.)
According to the fuel dock officials, the water alongside the dock itself and to 40 feet out is only 30 to 40 feet deep — too shallow for a full tanker to not touch bottom. However, go out past 40 feet and the water drops to over 50 feet deep.
Dock personnel said that this is the first time a tanker has come here fully loaded; usually American Samoa is one of the last stops, and the tankers are a lot lighter.
The two barges used to accomplish the breast-out docking were purchased in 2008 to be used for dredging operations in the harbors and channels of various islands and became a center of controversy after the U.S. Coast Guard informed ASG the barges "were unfit for service.”