Fo'isia sinks at Malaloa Marina
A sad ending to the $300,000+ government boat, the Fo'isia bought in 2009, by former Gov. Togiola Tulafono, to serve as a passenger vessel for the Manu’a islands.
Samoa News was called on Wednesday, May 7, 2017 to come out and take a photo of the vessel before it sank at the Malaloa Marina. When the Samoa News photographer arrived, very little remained above water; and a faint blue-green oil or fuel sheen was noticed. But, it was difficult to know if it was from the sinking vessel, or from the longliners and smaller yachts berthed next to the sinking boat. It's unknown at this time as to what caused the demise of the vessel.
The caller would like to send out a special thanks to the US Coast Guard and Tim Jones for their help. He told Samoa News that while Port Administration finally showed up with their tugboat — “by then it was too late” — the Fo’isia had sunk.
In 2009, Togiola said he hoped the vessel would eventually be allowed to carry more than just the six passengers it was certified to carry at the time. No cargo was allowed. The vessel was bought through the governor's transportation consultant, George Wray, who told Samoa News it would be used to ferry groups of people such as distinguished guests, but not for regularly scheduled runs. But, some Manu'a residents told the paper they understood the vessel was to be used for regular transport between the Manu'a islands.
The last time the vessel was heard about was that it was allegedly given to the Swains Islands for use, but it had engine problems that were too costly to repair. However, Samoa News was unable to confirm this as of press time.