7 Dec 2018

Coast Guard sends help to deal with burning vessel off Pago Pago

8:45 am on 7 December 2018

The US Coast Guard says it is working with the American Samoa Department of Homeland Security and other local agencies to investigate and fight a fire aboard a vessel which started in the port of Pago Pago.

fire on a purse seiner in Pago Pago harbour

The fire broke out on the purse seiner on Thursday afternoon Photo: Photo courtesy of Christina Lutu Sanchez

The 228-foot US purse seiner was docked at the commercial cargo pier of the harbour when it caught fire on Thursday afternoon.

The Jeanette was then towed offshore to limit the impact to the port and local residents.

Additional Coast Guard responders and resources are on their way to Pago Pago to assist in the matter.

The Coast Guard says attempts were made to fight the fire but as it continued to burn, there was a fear a toxic explosion could occur due to material on the vessel.

There is fuel and ammonia supplies on board the Jeanette.

The decision was made to remove the vessel eight kilometres out of the port to protect local commerce but it remains restrained by lines so that it doesn't drift uncontrollably.