23 Jan 2006

First container ship to call at Samoan port of Salelologa grounds approaching wharf

7:37 am on 23 January 2006

The first container ship to call into the port of Salelologa in Samoa on the big island of Savaii, has grounded on the approach to the wharf.

The Southern Cross became stuck about 100 meters from the wharf because the channel was too shallow.

The vessel was due to dock to mark the Savaii wharf becoming an international port.

Dignitaries including the Prime Minister Tuilapeaga Sailele, cabinet ministers and business people had gathered at the Salelologa for ceremonies to mark the event.

The Minister of Works and Transport, Faumuina Tiatia, told the Samoa Observer that the vessel was timed to arrive during high tide however it arrived late when it was already low tide.

The ceremonies got underway two hours behind schedule.