16 Oct 2006

Tinian harbour in Northern Marianas declared safe after inspections

3:41 pm on 16 October 2006

The U.S. Coast Guard has declared the Tinian seaport in the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas safe for commercial traffic.

The Coast Guard closed the seaport last weekend, after finding that all the entrance buoys to the port were either missing or off-station due to heavy winds and surf conditions.

The U.S. Coast Guard's Lieutenant Greg Schultz says that they have finished diving inspections and all buoys, with one exception, are now in their proper place.

The municipal government had declared the island under a state of emergency due to its damaged outer seawall, which it said may result in its commercial harbour being inaccessible.

The severely damaged breakwater structures, which were built during World War II, are located about 1,000 feet from the dock.

This has caused silt to build up in the channel over the years, causing it to become shallow.

Local authorities say 42 million U.S. dollars of funding is needed to fix the problem.