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New tug arrives — to be renamed “Iseula”, christened Wed.

[photo: Leua Aiono Frost]Port Administration director, Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Poumele, posed for a Samoa News photo on the main dock yesterday with Port’s second tugboat, Peggy H, in the waters of Pago Pago Harbor.  The tugboat, will be renamed Iseula and is the second one for the Port Administration as required by US Coast Guard regulations.  [photo: Leua Aiono Frost]

Pago Pago AMERICAN SAMOA — Port Administration’s second tugboat, which is the Peggy H — it will be renamed the Iseula, was christened yesterday during a ceremony onboard the vessel, docked along the main harbor.

U.S. Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, Doug Domenech (4th from left) and Congresswoman Aumua Amata (5th from left) broke ‘niu’ on the bow of the tugboat during the brief ceremony, which included Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga and others on board, while many VIPs were on the dockside.

The tugboat sailed for some 40 days from Bayou La Batre, Alabama, where it was rebuilt, by way of the Panama Canal then the Pacific Ocean and onward to the Manu’a islands and then to the Port of Pago Pago yesterday.

As previously reported by Samoa News, the governor redirected Capital Improvement Project monies to purchase the tugboat, which meets new federal regulations requiring a tugboat to have 3,000 horsepower. (Current tugboat Sailele meets this requirement.)

The estimated cost of the project is $1.2 million. The US Coast Guard, which oversees the Port of Pago Pago, had issued three waivers allowing ASG to use only the tugboat Sailele, with the third waiver issued Nov. 15, 2017 and valid until Mar. 15, 2018. ASG will be providing the USCG with the latest update now that the second tugboat has arrived on island.

Louisiana based brokerage firm Ocean Marine coordinated the sale of the “Peggy H” tugboat, a 3,000 horse-power (HP), American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) load lined Model Bow Tug.

Originally built in 1983, the tugboat went through a complete rebuild & refurbish last year, said Ocean Marine president Steve Kokinos in an email to Samoa News in February this year.

Port Administration’s five-member crew, who sailed the tugboat to Pago are: Capts. Lafoga Alovao and Michael Pulu; Mater Journey Asiasiaoga Velega; Seaman Able Sasualei Moliga; and Chief Engineer Bobby Silva.