Burning purse seiner in the harbor

What is believed to have been a small fire on board a purse seiner late this morning, ended up in a burning purse seiner by late this afternoon which was pulled out from the main dock to the mouth of harbor apparently to burn out.

Those who were at the dock earlier today said smoke was seen coming from the purse seiner Jeanette that was anchored at the main dock. 

Port Administration halted all operations at the main dock by noon due to the smoking purse seiner.  Fire trucks were at the scene and it appeared that they were dealing with the source of the smoke.

This went on for several hours.

Just after 4 pm the purse seiner was seen being towed out with flames several foot high  and emitting black clouds which covered the Pago side of the bay. The smell of the burning vessel also filled the area,.

An industry source told KHJ News that the Jeanette only retuned from a fishing trip a few days ago and  had not unloaded its catch.

According to the source, the worth of the catch could be about $2 million.

Nothing could be salvaged from the purse seiner including its helicopter, skiff and nets.

An official familiar with fires on vessels was unsure if fire fighters had the right supplies to extinguish the fire. He said water mixed with oil helps spread rather than put out the flames.

As of 4:35,  the Jeanette purse seiner was listing at the mouth of the harbor.


  1. AS-FD

    Another example of an ill prepared ASG Department. The Fire Department should have proper training and equipment to fight such fires. I’m sure now there will be a push to ask the feds for funding and equipment. Typical after the fact ASG response. Luckily there was no large explosion or major damage to the surrounding area. Could you imagine if this happened on the fuel dock. This incident should be looked at and dissected carefully to see how our FD could of handled it better and have a plan in place for the possibility of it happening again in the future. Our men and women in the FD and PD need proper training and the tools to do the job right. They can only do so much with what little they have. Lolo should take this as a sign. If he goes ahead with the Fono Building as planned and spites FEMA who will come to our aid when disaster strikes?

  2. A. S. Loner

    So does the Fire Truck at the airport have foam to fight plane fires,? I hope they do. If so why didn’t they use that truck to fight the fire?

  3. Dragon Lady

    Its time for the Fono to pass legislation setting up a fire code for building occupancy (like regulating the over crowded big tent at Bruno’s Circus last month). What would have happened if a fire broke out inside? How many people would have suffocated. Didn’t we learn anything from the recent fire that destroyed an entire town in Northern California (Paradise, in the Sierra’s).
    With our Port as busy as it is, why didn’t the government tugs have powerful hoses to shot water at the fire? Cause they sure sprayed a lot of water around the harbor when the white elephant (Manuatele) arrived from Seattle.

    Here we go again… Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam come to the rescue. Or are we suppose to call Bat Man. But this isn’t New York. Then maybe Captain America or, better yet Super Girl

  4. Se Sasa

    Nothing New! When have our fire department extinguish any type of fire on our island. So many of them on the payroll and yet its been the same for years. They reach a home/business, all they do is look at it till ALL is total gone. No surprise here, just a department that aren’t well trained and equipped to take on the task.

    As long as lives aren’t lost, that’s always a win! That should be our fired departments Motto! Forget about the material things…….LMAO! In all seriousness, glad nobody’s hurt.

  5. Fire Fighter

    Wow how ill prepared! reminds me of the Laufou incident when the trucks and fire hydrants couldn’t contain the fire. Our fire department and port should have purchased a fire fighting boat from Homeland Security. We need to protect the harbor infrastructure including boats, ships and tank farm but especially from a major disaster in the harbor. But good thinking when you lack the proper fighting equipment was to toll it out to prevent the fire from spreading. Good old Capt. George Logan made this recommendation many years ago. So do we need to see a ocean liner, container ship or tanker burn before we do anything? There is a old Navy tanker sitting at the bottom of the docks which should serve us as a reminder. Yep as always nothing will be done. Typical ASG.

  6. Aqua Man

    Correct FF, I do remember a proposal that was sent to Homeland Security several years ago by some great guys that were on some committee at Homeland Security. If I can recall it was for a 50-65 feet fast SAR and Fire Fighting craft. This boat had some awesome fire fighting features including a foam feed system and capable of accessing shallow waters because it did not have props but a water jet propulsion system. It was also very fast with 2 diesel engines. For some reason it got mixed up in the politics at HLS which eventually they lost funding due to lateness of their submission before the deadline. What a shame! This is what we get for playing office politics and not equipping our fire fighters and port operators. ASG is it’s own worst enemy. My heart goes out to the owner, captain and crew of the Jeanette. Fortunately no one got hurt or killed but the economic lost is so costly.


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