13 Oct 2011

Response time applauded by US Coastguard in Pago Pago fuel spill

5:27 pm on 13 October 2011

The United States Coastguard says the swiftness of the response to one of American Samoa's largest fuel spills is one reason it has resulted in minimal envionrmental damage.

The New Zealand-flagged Ocean Breeze, which is owned by the Sanford fishing company, leaked close to 2,000 litres of diesel into Pago Pago harbour during a ballast removal operation last week.

The coastguard's Lieutenant Steven Caskey says the crew of the Ocean Breeze responded promptly to the spill.

"Once they recognised that the diesel had entered the water they were proactive in deploying the boom to be able to contain it, which maximsed the clean-up effort. That is one of the most critical things in any type of spill, is to be able to contain it in order to recover it."

Lieutenant Steven Caskey says the vessel is still in port undergoing repairs to faults unrelated to the spill.