20 Aug 2016

Fishing vessel pulled off sensitive American Samoa reef

7:08 pm on 20 August 2016
Vessel remains stuck on American Samoa reef.

The No. 1 Ji Hyun was stuck on a reef in a marine sanctuary near Aunuu Island. Photo: RNZI/Monica Miller

After several unsuccessful attempts, a fishing vessel that ran aground on a reef in American Samoa in April has finally been removed.

The No. 1 Ji Hyun lost power on the April 14 while on a charter run to Manua for the American Samoa Power Authority, when it ran aground in a marine sanctuary near Aunuu Island.

The initial response focussed on containing a possible fuel spill, but several attempts to move the boat off the reef were hampered.

But on Friday morning (Saturday NZT), two tug boats managed to pull it off the reef and tow it to Pago Pago, the capital, where it is now in dry dock.

The US Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will now assess the reef for any potential damage and develop a restoration plan.