The American Samoa Government tug boat, Sailele, was forced to return to port yesterday evening on orders of the US Coast Guard while it was apparently on its way to Apia.
KHJ News understands that on board the vessel were Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, Pacific Energy Manager Taulapapa Willie Sword, and a few others, who were enroute to Apia to deliver foam to help contain the fuel tank fire in Samoa.
Sources say ASG officials had tried to contact the head of the local Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Unit but were unable to reach her.
It’s not known why Port Administration officials did not have Coast Guard Lt. Vignette Kaltsas cell phone number,
A federal officer who did not wish to be named said the Sailele needed clearance to make the trip to Samoa,
According to the official, the boat is an in-harbor vessel and in order for it to make a trip in the open ocean it needed special equipment that it apparently doesn’t have.
The Sailele left port headed for Apia after 5 yesterday evening and was by Leone when it was called back.
KHJ News has sought information from the Lt Governor’s Office and we’ll provide an update in later bulletins.