Petty Officer 1st Class Jared Bohler, a marine science technician with Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa, checks lifejacket serviceability aboard the 190-foot U.S.-flagged tuna purse seiner Raffaello during a deficiency check, Oct. 23, 2017. The Raffaello suffered a fire more than two years ago and has been effecting repairs monitored by the MSD personnel. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir.

The Coast Guard, 14 degrees south of the equator

The crew of Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa consists of two officers, a first class petty officer, and a GS-12 civilian who conduct about 50 vessel exams consisting mostly of commercial fishing vessels and 25 to 30 investigations varying from pollution to marine causalities annually. While tours are short, around one year, on the island, the crews work to build strong relationships with the communities through boating and safety education as well as participating in community events.

American Samoa response

Shipmate of the Week – MST1 Russell Strathern

It’s been four days and nine hours since the fishing vessel Lili’afao sank at its mooring in Pago Pago Harbor, and the Coast Guard responders on scene have grown indifferent to the rain showers that are common in American Samoa. They wipe their faces with wet sleeves, to no avail, and continue their work in spite of the warm, South Pacific rain.