15 Dec 2005

Oil spill culprits pinpointed in American Samoa

4:11 pm on 15 December 2005

The US Coast Guard has found evidence to identify the source of a mystery oil spill in American Samoa' Pago Pago harbour back in September.

The spill was estimated at between 100-150 gallons and occurred near the canneries on September 21.

Samples of oil and water from fishing boats in the harbour at the time were sent to the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Laboratory in Connecticut for testing.

The test results have helped identity a suspect vessel and the Coast Guard is now pursuing civil penalties against the owners.

The Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Pago Pago says quick thinking by a security guard in reporting the spill prevented greater environmental damage in the harbour.