The Manuatele had to make an unscheduled trip to Swains this week to bring back a group of scientists after the vessel which they had chartered for the trip, the MV Sili, developed engine problems.
The scientists from the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources and National Park Service were in Swains on a rat eradication mission and to check on wildlife on the island.
None of those who made the trip were willing to talk about their experience publicly but KHJ News understands that the MV Sili’s engine broke twice on the way to Swains.
The crew dumped all of the freshwater on board at sea to lighten the boat’s load and help it sail.
Not only did the crew run out of fresh water for drinking and cooking , the bathrooms on board lacked running water creating unhygienic conditions.
The scientific team shared their water with the MV Sili crew and the scientists also ran out of water, after which they relied on rain water for drinking and cooking while on the island.
Thankfully there’s an endless supply of coconuts on Swains for drinking.
When it was time to return to Tutuila, the scientists were apparently told to use the bathroom on the island before boarding as there wouldn’t be any toilet access for the 40 hour trip to Tutuila.
Swains Representative Sua Alex Jennings, who accompanied the scientists to Swains called Port Administration and was able to convince Port to send the Manuatele to Swains to pick up the group.
Meanwhile the MV Sili sailed on one engine back to Tutuila.