A ship belonging to the American Samoa government has taken on water while docked in Fagatogo but authorities have managed to stop it from sinking.
A port engineer noticed the MV Sili was listing and went down to the engine room to check on Saturday.
The Coast Guard says the engineer discovered the engines were above water but everything else was submerged.
Coast Guard personnel worked with port administration crews to pump the water out and managed to rescue the vessel from sinking, although the engines sustained damage.
The MV Sili has been providing a connection between the islands of Tutuila and Manu'a for about 20 years.