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Service for fisherman held as USCG probe finalized

A memorial service was held last night for the Filipino fisherman killed on aboard a locally based fishing vessel last month while the U.S. Coast Guard investigation into the accident is being finalized.

The MV Carol Linda was located about 700 miles north of Pago Pago when the incident occurred, killing one crew member and injuring another. Coast Guard have identified the deceased as Manolito A. Galvez, 41, of the Philippines.

According to a family announcement published in Tuesday’s edition of Samoa News, a memorial service was held yesterday at the Catholic Church in Fagaalu for Galvez, who is remembered “as a very hardworking, joyful and loving person” and he will be missed by his family.

His remains will be taken back to Manila on tonight’s Hawaiian Air flight. The date of his death cited in the announcement is May 9.

Lt. Steven Caskey, supervisor of the local Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Unit,  said that initial reports received by his office said that the main mast of the vessel that holds up the boom, basically broke in half and fell on the crew members — killing one.

When asked yesterday for an update on the investigation, Caskey said it’s still being finalized and he expects to have it completed within a month. Asked if the vessel’s owner will be fined, he said that any fine will be determined during the investigation, and will be included in the final report.

Also investigating this accident at sea is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), whose probe is still ongoing.


Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is still at the scene of an oil spill which occurred Sunday behind the Malaloa dock and is working with others to re-float the fishing boat Liliafao, which caused the oil spill after it sank.

Caskey said the Coast Guard has closed off about 100 yards around the area where the vessel sank so as to contain the oil spill and allow the investigation to continue

He also said that during the investigation it was learned that the Liliafao, while anchored in the area for a while and unused, has been used as a dumping ground for other debris, such as drums of oil bilge and diesel fuel.

Caskey estimates that about 500 to 1,000 gallons of oil have been spilled into the bay due to this accident.