25 Jun 2012

American Samoa court to decide if goverment can take possession of sunken ships

11:21 am on 25 June 2012

A court hearing tomorrow will decide if the American Samoa Government can take possession of a vessel which sank near the Satala shipyard last week, the Alice S.

If the court approves, the government intends to cut up the vessel for scrap metal.

The Coast Guard's Lieutenant Steven Caskey, says they have not been able to locate the owner, and the boat has been abandoned for several years.

When it sank last Friday, an estimated 700 to 1,000 gallons of bilge oil was spilled in the satala Pago Pago area emitting a strong stench of fuel.

Lt. Caskey said if the court gives the okay they plan to haul the boat on the slipway and have it cut up for scrap metal as payment for the salvage operation.

The fishing boat that sank at the Malaloa Marina two weeks before, the Liliafao, is also to be turned into scrap metal and the attorney for the estate of one of the owners, is working on transferring the boat to the American Samoa Government.

That sinking also poured nearly 1,000 gallons of oil into Pago Pago Harbor.