1,200-foot ship dragged oil pipeline in California, coast guard says

Investigators believe a 1,200-foot freighter pulling anchor in rough seas grabbed an undersea pipeline and pulled it to the seabed, months before a line leak fouled the seabed. southern California coast with crude.

A team of federal investigators trying to investigate the cause of the spill boarded the Panama-registered MSC DANIT just hours after the massive vessel arrived this weekend off the port of Long Beach, the same area. where the leak was discovered in early October.

During a previous visit to the ship during a severe storm in January, investigators believe its anchor dragged an unknown distance before hitting the 16-inch steel pipe, Coast Guard Lt. Jg said on Sunday. SondraKay Kneen.

The impact would have knocked an inch-thick concrete casing off the pipe and pulled it over 100 feet, bending but not breaking the line, Kneen said.

It remains to be seen whether the impact caused the October leak, or whether the line was hit by something else at a later date or failed due to a pre-existing issue, Kneen said.

“We’re still looking at multiple ships and scenarios,” she said.

The Coast Guard on Saturday named the owner and operator as interested parties in its investigation into the spill, which reportedly released about 25,000 gallons of crude into the water, kill birds, fish and mammals.

The accident a few miles off Huntington Beach in Los Angeles has littered beaches and wetlands and led to temporary closures for clean-up work . Although not as bad as initially feared, he reignited the debate on offshore drilling in federal Pacific waters, where hundreds of kilometers of pipelines were installed decades ago.

DANIT’s operator, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, is headquartered in Switzerland and has a fleet of 600 vessels and more than 100,000 workers, according to the company.

MSC representatives did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment. A security guard reached by phone at the company’s headquarters in Geneva said it was closed until Monday.

The owner of the vessel, identified by the Coast Guard as Dordellas Finance Corporation, could not be reached for comment.

DANIT arrived in Long Beach this weekend after traveling from China, according to vessel traffic monitoring websites.

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