Investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard boarded a cargo vessel Saturday in Long Beach that could be tied to the rupture of a pipeline that spilled more than 25,000 gallons of oil off the Orange County coast, the agency said.
Braden Rostad, chief of investigations for Los Angeles-Long Beach, determined that the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) DANIT was involved in a Jan. 25 anchor-dragging incident during heavy weather at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
The anchor-dragging occurred near a pipeline that was subsequently discovered to be the source of the Orange County oil spill on Oct. 2, the statement said.
Investigators suspect an initial anchor strike displaced part of the pipeline and stripped away its concrete casing, causing it to be more vulnerable to other potential anchor strikes or environmental stressors.
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