American Samoa News

09 Oct 2019

Sanctioned Vessel Finally Departs American Samoa

© Sergei Skriabin / MarineTraffic.com

Following a five-month stay in the port of Pago Pago, American Samoa, the 580-foot motor vessel Wise Honest, a 17,061-ton, single-hull bulk carrier ship connected to U.S. sanctions violations departed under tow Monday.This action comes after an investigation by the Department of Justice and the sale of the ship in a Southern District of New York Federal Court-directed auction. The Coast Guard’s role in these proceedings was to ensure the safety and security of the Port of Pago Pago and the vessel.Most recently…

27 Sep 2019

USCG Commissions FRC in Honolulu

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West/released

The U.S. Coast Guard commissioned the newest Hawaii-based 154-foot Fast Response Cutter in Honolulu, Thursday.“There is no greater reflection of the commandant’s strategic vision and commitment than the fact that as we commission the William Hart today, it will be the fifth Coast Guard cutter commissioned in the last two years here at Base Honolulu that will operate in the heart of Oceania,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander Coast Guard 14th District. “There is no question that by our actions and not our words alone…

30 Jul 2019

U.S. DOT Names Nine Marine Highway Projects

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today announced the designation of nine Marine Highway Projects and a Marine Highway Route that will benefit Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington State and American Samoa. Marine highways are navigable waterways that can be used as alternate options to traditional shipping methods. “The designation of marine highways by Congress will help move cargo and people to help grow the economy and shift freight off of congested highways,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

14 May 2019

N.Korea Protests U.S. Ship Seizure

The bulk carrier WISE HONEST (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Sergei Skriabin

North Korea said on Tuesday the seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States was an illegal act that violated the spirit of a summit between the two countries' leaders, and demanded the return of the vessel without delay.The North's foreign ministry said in a statement that it rejected U.N. Security Council resolutions against it which the United States cited in impounding the vessel, as a violation of its sovereignty."The United States committed an unlawful and outrageous act of dispossessing our cargo ship…

09 May 2019

U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S. Justice Department officials said.The announcement comes after North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Thursday, its second such test in less than a week and an apparent protest by leader Kim Jong Un after U.S.

19 Feb 2019

Responders Determine Cause of Flooding on Vessel in American Samoa

A salvage dive team located a two-inch diameter hole on the port side of the engine room and applied a temporary patch. The vessel is no longer taking on water. Any pollution from the incident has been recovered or dissipated. Containment booms will remain in place, and a watchstander will stay on the vessel to monitor the situation. A long term plan for the ship is in development.“The safety of residents and responders is our priority, and while no one wants something like this to happen, thankfully it occurred at the pier where they swiftly addressed the issue,” said Lt. Erica Brewton, Sector Honolulu Incident Management Division.

13 Dec 2018

NOIA Calls for Offshore Wind Territories Act

Image: BOEM

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) said that U.S. territories need the Offshore Wind for Territories Act.The U.S. has five permanently inhabited 'Territories' in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands which are directly overseen by the United States Federal Government.NOIA President Randall Luthi issued this statement: “The House passage of H.R. 6665 is welcome news for many Americans this holiday season. Too often, Americans in the U.S.

14 Aug 2018

China Navigation Company Opens Vancouver Branch

CNCo Vancouver opening ceremony. From left: Graham Clarke, Founding Chairman, VIMC;  Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade & Technology, British Columbia; Chris Daniells, Commercial Director, CNCo; Bernard Huizenga, General Manager, Corporate Business Development, CNCo Americas. Photo: CNCo

China Navigation Company (CNCo), part of the Swire Group, has expanded its presence in North America by establishing a branch office in Vancouver, Canada.The opening ceremony was graced by Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade & Technology, British Columbia, who unveiled a plaque in the CNCo office located at W Hastings Street.Minister Bruce Ralston said, “The Province recognises the significant contribution that The China Navigation Company makes to the shipping industry worldwide.

03 May 2018

New Admiral to Lead Coast Guard 14th District


Coast Guard holds Change of Command, retirement ceremony for 14th District (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle)

The Coast Guard 14th District held a change of command ceremony bidding farewell to Rear Adm. Vincent B. Atkins and welcoming Rear Adm. Brian K. Penoyer, at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, Wednesday.Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area presided over the ceremony.Penoyer has served as Atkins’ chief of staff since 2016, advising the district commander on all Coast Guard missions conducted in the central and south Pacific. He is a 2015 recipient of the Coast Guard’s Type I Incident Commander qualification…

25 Apr 2018

EPA Announces Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © dbvirago)

Preference given to fleets in areas facing air quality challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of grant funding to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. “These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country…

20 Mar 2018

CNCo, SPREP Ink Recycling MOU for Pacific Islands

James Woodrow, MD, CNCo signing the MOU in Singapore. Photo SPREP

The China Navigation Company (CNCo) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP) have today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address critical waste management issues in the Pacific islands. Known as the “Moana Taka Partnership”, this MOU allows for CNCo vessels to carry containers of recyclable waste from eligible Pacific island ports, pro bono, to be sustainably treated and recycled in suitable ports in Asia Pacific. “This historic partnership will be of great benefit to our Pacific islands…

12 Feb 2018

Salvage Work Resumes off American Samoa

U.S. Coast Guard personnel discuss future operations for the removal of product aboard the commercial fishing vessel Chui Zai Fa No. 1 grounded about 300-yards off Leone Bay (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Tara Molle)

Work to remove a commercial fishing vessel aground off American Samoa has resumed in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita. Hazardous weather conditions on Friday forced responders to delay efforts to salvage the grounded 88-foot Taiwanese-flagged vessel Chui Zai Fa No. 1, which is split in half with the bow and stern portions sitting side by side in the surf approximately 300-yards off Leone Bay. U.S. Coast Guard officials resumed work with local authorities and the vessel’s owner to develop a plan to salvage the Chui Zai Fa No.

09 Feb 2018

Tropical Cyclone Delays Salvage Efforts in American Samoa

(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard photo by John Ng)

Efforts to salvage a grounded fishing vessel in American Samoa were put on hold Friday as an intensifying tropical cyclone moves in on the island. Hazardous weather conditions including heavy seas, winds and downpoor from Tropical Cyclone Gita have stalled plans to salvage the 88-foot fishing vessel Chu Zai Fa No. 1 that ran aground in Leone Bay about 300-yards southwest of Tutuila. The U.S. Coast Guard said it has been working with the vessel’s owner and local authorities to develop a plan to salvage the Taiwanese-flagged vessel…

08 Feb 2018

Fire-stricken Fishing Vessel Grounds in the Samoan Islands

An 88-foot Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel as run aground in the Samoan Islands after a fire on board reportedly left the vessel adrift in the Pacific for more than three months (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A fire-stricken commercial fishing vessel that had been adrift in the Pacific for more than three months has run aground in the Samoan Islands on Monday. The 88-foot Taiwanese-flagged Chu Zai Fa No. 1 reportedly caught fire in international waters on November 4, 2017 and remained adrift until this week, when it grounded in Leone Bay about 300-yards off the western part of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. The fire forced the Chu Zai Fa No. 1 crew to abandon ship, and most were rescued by a Korean-flagged vessel and brought to Fiji aboard a sister fishing vessel.

20 Oct 2017

Rob Nakama: From USCG to Foss Maritime

Rob Nakama (Photo: Saltchuk)

Just two weeks after accepting the U.S. Coast Guard’s congratulations on a military career spanning almost three decades, Rob Nakama drove from Washington D.C. to Seattle to join Foss Maritime as the company’s Manager of Contingency Planning and Emergency Response. “I’ve been in the military for the majority of my life; the transition has been surreal,” he said. Nakama was born in Hawaii, growing up on the island of Maui as the son of a taro farmer who worked for the Aloha Poi Factory.

11 Oct 2017

Fishing Vessel Runs Aground off Honolulu

Twenty fishermen were transported to shore from an aground vessel less than a half mile off Honolulu early Wednesday morning. Honolulu Fire Department Jet Ski crews transported fishermen from the vessel to a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium for further transport to awaiting emergency responders at Ala Wai Harbor. A Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter crew hoisted two of the fishermen and the master of the vessel and transported them to Honolulu airport. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received three reports of the 79-foot commercial fishing vessel Pacific Paradise grounded off Diamond Head near the Outrigger Canoe Club Channel Tuesday night. They responded by directing the launch of response assets.

01 Sep 2017

Fishing Vessel Owner Convicted for Pollution

A fishing vessel company that operated in and around American Samoa was convicted and sentenced for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oil and garbage, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Environment and Natural Resources Division and United States Attorney Channing D. Phillips. The company, Yuh Fa Fishery (Vanuatu) Co. Ltd., owned the F/V Yuh Fa No. 201, the vessel that was responsible for the pollution. Yuh Fa Fishery (Vanuatu) Co. Ltd., admitted that its engineers failed to document the illegal dumping of oily bilge water into the waters of the South Pacific Ocean without the use of required pollution prevention equipment. The Chief Engineer onboard the F/V Yuh Fa No.

02 Jun 2017

Matson Increases Its South Pacific Express Service

Matson said it it will increase the frequency of its South Pacific Express (SPX) service to Samoa and American Samoa from 28 days to 14 days. The service provides transits from Hawai'i and the U.S. West Coast to the Samoas: 12 days from Long Beach and 5.5 days from Honolulu to Pago Pago, with an extra day to Apia. Matson launched its SPX service on August 10, 2016, establishing reliable, fixed day shipping service between the U.S. West Coast, Hawai'i and the Samoas. Its new fortnightly SPX schedule is made possible by the company's acquisition of a larger, faster vessel that has been christened "Samoana" and will be welcomed at special ceremonies following its maiden voyage arrivals at Pago Pago and Apia.

28 Oct 2016

Tuna Vessel Operator Convicted on Pollution Charges

An American tuna fishing company that regularly unloaded its catch in American Samoa, was convicted and sentenced today for discharging oil into the South Pacific and for maintaining false records, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia. The company, Pacific Breeze Fisheries LLC, owned the Fishing Vessel F/V Pacific Breeze, a tuna purse seiner that was responsible for the pollution. Pacific Breeze Fisheries admitted that its engineers failed to document the illegal dumping of oily bilge water into the waters off American Samoa without the use of required pollution prevention equipment.

17 Aug 2016

Shipbuilding: P3 Projects (with a Twist)

Credit: Vigor

Private partnerships, executed perfectly – that’s West Coast boatbuilding in today’s challenging business climates. P3 Partnerships: no, we’re not talking about infrastructure funding. But, in our P3 version, boatbuilding in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska is alive and well, because of it. Long-standing enterprises and relative newcomers are all experiencing an uptick in projects. Here, as part of our annual MN100 top company profiles, we take a look at how three organizations have either merged and/or partnered with complementary companies to expand skills…

27 Jun 2016

Matson Launches US West Coast - South Pacific Service

U.S. carrier in the Pacific Matson, Inc. has introduced a new containership service between the U.S. West Coast and ports in Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. Starting August 10, 2016, the shipper’s South Pacific Express (SPX) will for the first time link the its West Coast - Hawaii service with its South Pacific network. Using a dedicated ship to carry West Coast cargo transshipped at Honolulu, SPX will provide reliable, same-day-of-week South Pacific arrivals every 28 days, calling on Apia, Samoa; Pago Pago, American Samoa; Nuku'alofa, Tonga; Suva, Fiji and Lautoka, Fiji before returning to Honolulu. “We have sought for some time the right opportunity to link our networks in the northern and South Pacific in a way that enhances both operations…

14 Jun 2016

Hapag-Lloyd Warns of Preventive Actions by China

Photo Hapag-Lloyd

Further to Hapag-Lloyd's information to their Customer circular issued in 4th March 2016 on the preventive actions of Zika virus for all cargoes entering China, the company has now provided an updated list of origin countries. All shipments from the following countries (indicated below) shall be subject to anti-mosquito treatment. Inbound shipments without proof of anti-mosquito treatment will be fumigated at the port of discharge in China by the authorities without prior notice.

23 Mar 2016

Missing Tugboat Found after 95 Years

USS Conestoga at San Diego, January 1921 (Naval Historical Center Photograph)

The USS Conestoga (AT 54) mysteriously vanished without a distress call nearly 100 years ago, with 56 officers and sailors on board. The nation was gripped by the puzzling disappearance. Now, NOAA and the U.S. Navy announced the Navy seagoing fleet tugboat has been found in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco, 95 years after its disappearance. Conestoga left San Francisco on March 25, 1921 en route to Tutuila, American Samoa via Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but never reached its destination.

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