24 Mar 2010

American Samoa Manu'a vessel still awaiting certification

7:59 am on 24 March 2010

The American Samoa Government is still to provide the US Coast Guard with details so a vessel intended for service in the Manu'a, the Foisia, can be certified.

The Coast Guard's Lieutenant Ted Harre says they requested the design plans for the vessel in November and are still waiting for the government to provide them.

The boat is intended to carry passengers between the islands of Ofu , Olosega and Ta'u, but the Port Director Matagi Ray McMoore says the Foisia cannot be based in Manu'a at this time because there's no facility there to refuel the vessel.

He says strong winds and rough seas also restrict use of the boat.

Lieutenant Harre says for now the vessel can only carry six passengers, though the governor wants it to be certified to carry 12.

"Its make up is to be a recreational vessel. It was never built to be a passenger vessel. If you were going to make it a passenger vessel you are going to have to make very specific changes to the vessel itself, like it needs a collision bulkhead; it needs a plan review completed on it. We need to get all the diagrams from the original manufacturer so we can see what the vessel is made up of and things like this."

The US Coast Guard's Lieutenant Ted Harre.