MV Sili still stuck in Ofu Harbor, Manu’atele to the rescue

The MV Sili is still stuck in Ofu, Manu’a and looks like it will be out of commission for another 3 weeks.

The vessel took on water while docked over night at Ofu Harbor a week ago, doing damage to the boat’s generators,

Parts were ferried on the MV Manu’atele to be repaired on Tutuila and they have now been fixed.

Tonight, the Manu’atele is taking the  repaired  generator parts and also passengers and cargo to Manu’a.

This is a non revenue sailing.

Acting Director of Port Administration Muliagatele Gus Godinet says the vessel cannot charge for passengers and cargo yet because it still has a few things that the Coast Guard needs to clear.

For tonight’s sailing, the $13 million boat is taking 68 passnegers.

Even though the boat can take more than double that number, the acting port director says they are limiting the number of passengers and cargo to allow for easy maneuvering of both the MV Sili and Manu’atele n Ofu Harbor.

The Manu’atele was on a sea trial to Manu’a, its first since arriving January 4, and on its return trip brought back the generator parts which were damaged. It also carried passengers and cargo from Manu’a.

The plan is to get the MV Sili back in operation then sail it back to Tutuila by Sunday.

Muliagatele expects it would take three weeks to get the MV Sili working again.

In the meantime,the MV Manu’atele will be filling in  taking passengers and cargo to Manu’a.

The vessel is not yet certified to transport fuel for Manu;’a.

But Muliagataele is hopeful that Coast Guard approval of the vessel’s response plan for hazardous materials will be given early next week.

As for how the MV Sili took on water in the engine room, the acting port director says they hope to question the captain and crew when the vessel is back on