Honolulu crew brings water to small nation

By the Associated Press | October 5, 2011 | 4:00 PM EDT

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is bringing 36,000 gallons of drinking water to a small island-nation in the South Pacific suffering from severe drought conditions.

A Coast Guard spokesman says Tokelau's 1,500 residents are running out of drinking water.

Coast Guard Lt. Gene Maestas says the Honolulu-stationed Cutter Walnut is on American Samoa, where it is loading giant containers with fresh drinking water, with help from New Zealand defense forces.

The cutter will then bring the containers of water to Tokelau, a nation of three atolls. Tokelau relies on rainwater for drinking.

Maestas says the cutter got involved with the humanitarian relief mission while on patrol in the region.