24 Nov 2003

US considers giving vessel to Utrik in Marshall Islands

4:38 pm on 24 November 2003

The United States House of Representatives has approved a bill to provide a decommissioned vessel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for residents of Utrik Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, who sponsored the bill, said the vessel would help residents as they continued efforts to resettle and rehabilitate their islands.

If enacted into law, it would allow the US Secretary of Commerce to send a still operable, but decommissioned vessel to Utrik to help with radiological monitoring.

The Marshall Islands were severely affected by the US nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s and 1950s.