DPS Marine Patrol rescues two divers in Faganeanea


Responders from the Marine Patrol Division of the Department of Public Safety were able to safely bring ashore two female divers in need of assistance in the Faganeanea area at around 6:30p.m. this past Monday, Labor Day.
Head of the Marine Patrol Division, Capt. Tulele Laolagi told Samoa News yesterday that the divers were unable to swim back to shore because of the strong waves and ocean current.
He said a male surfer was at the scene keeping an eye on the two women when they arrived.
"These are smart people," Laolagi said. "Instead on trying to risk their lives swimming back to shore on their own, they signaled for help and we were able to assist them and get them back safely."
Laolagi said their office is there to "protect and serve," and they are the first responders when it comes to search and rescue in the water.
In other news, six employees of the Marine Patrol Division returned to the territory last week after sailing to Swains Island to provide security and escort service for Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga who visited Swains at the same time as French explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau. During last week's celebration of the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center's first year anniversary, Cousteau called his recent dive at Swains Island a "disconnecting experience" and described the area as "perfectly preserved and managed."
The Marine Patrol detail to Swains was led by PSO3 Poe Le'apai.
Altogether, the Marine Patrol Division includes 17 responders who are all certified divers. This, according to Capt. Laolagi, means his crew is ready to provide assistance during search and rescue missions as first responders.
Earlier this year, the Marine Patrol Division took part in a dive safety drill along with the Fire Department, EMS, NOAA, the US Coast Guard Auxiliaries, and other marine and emergency professionals.
The drill was coordinated by the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa and was designed to evaluate the response capabilities in areas such as search and rescue and health care providers, in the event that an actual SCUBA diving emergency occurs.

Responders from the DPS Marine Patrol Division recently returned from Swains Islands after escorting Lt. Lemanu Peleti Mauga there. Marine Patrol also responded to a call for help from two female divers in the Faganeanea area on Labor Day. [photo by JH]


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