19 Oct 2011

American Samoa inter island vessel suspended for carrying too many passengers

4:26 pm on 19 October 2011

The American Samoa government's inter island vessel, MV Sili, has been grounded by the U.S. Coast Guard because it's been carrying more passengers than it's registered for.

Suspension of the vessel again places transport links with the Manu'a island group in jeopardy, since many residents and businesses depend on MV Sili for goods and supplies.

The Coast Guard's Lieutenant Steven Caskey says the vessel is authorized to carry 75 passengers but instead on its return from Manu'a last Friday it brought in 129, while the manifest only showed 61 passengers on board.

Lt Caskey says his office is in the process of suspending the licences of the two captains and the Coast Guard is currently reviewing possible civil penalties to be imposed on the vessel and its operator.