By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2018: The General Manager of the Samoa Shipping Corporation (SSC), Papali’i Willie Nansen has confirmed the incident involving the MV Samoa Express vessel a few minutes after leaving the Salelologa wharf early yesterday morning.
The vessel was carrying 120 passengers and 17 vehicles bound for Mulifanua wharf on its first trip of the day and ran aground outside the entrance at the Salelologa channel.
“According to the report from the Captain, the vessel’s starboard engine suddenly shutdown and causes the vessel to drift to the reef,” Papali’i told Talamua.
“Minor scratches were sustained by the hull of the vessel but there were no major damages identified,” said Papali’i.
He also said that the vessel is now being transferred to Aleipata to undergo drydocking and to repaint the hull before going back to operations at the earliest.
Papalii also corrected reports that a woman captained the ferry on this trip.
“The Captain was Seumanu Mika and the woman referred to was the quarter master who was steering the vessel on the commands ordered by Captain Seumanu,” said Papali’i.