3 Jul 2007

American Samoa ship helps out Tokelau after its boat breaks down

7:42 pm on 3 July 2007

The American Samoa government vessel, MV Sili, has helped rescued stranded passengers after the boat that services Tokelau broke down.

The representative for Swains Island, Alexander Jennings, says while the MV Sili was taking the first fuel shipment from Pago Pago to Tokelau it received a distress call from the MV Tokelau which had lost the use of one engine.

He says they all met up at the atoll Fakaofo and the American Samoan boat delivered the passengers and freight of the three atolls.

"And then on the way back we had a special request from the Faipule of Nukunonu, Honourable Pio Tuia, and the Transport Minister of Tokelau, Kolouei O'Brien, requesting that the MV Sili come back through the islands to pick up patients and doctors to be transported to Pago and then they would be going to Apia and then on to New Zealand for needed checkups and operations."

New Zealand and Tokelau have been trying to replace the MV Tokelau with a purpose built ship for the past two years.