7 Jan 2008

American Samoan ferry could help visitors stranded in Pukapuka

11:42 am on 7 January 2008

The Department of Port Administration in American Samoa is awaiting approval from the US Coast Guard for the MV Sili to sail to Pukapuka in the Cook Islands.

Port Director, Matagi Ray McMoore, says more than 100 people from New Zealand are stuck on the island and have requested assistance to be ferried to Samoa from where they will catch flights home.

The MV Sili does not have a certificate to operate international voyages and the US Coast Guard would have to approve the special sailing.

The group was in Pukapuka to attend ceremonies marking the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Christian church in Pukapuka.

Reports from the Cook Islands say that because there has not been a boat to the island in more than a month, food supplies are running very low.