The U.S. Coast Guard boarded a container ship this weekend that it suspects of causing one of the worst oil spills in California's recent history.
According to a news release, Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators boarded the container ship, MSC Danit, on Saturday in the Port of Long Beach.
The Coast Guard said the ship dragged its anchor in close proximity to a subsea pipeline during inclement weather on January 25, causing the oil spill in Orange County on October 2.
“As a result, the Coast Guard designated the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, S.A. (MSC), the operator of the vessel, and Dordellas Finance Corporation, the owner of the vessel, as parties in interest to the marine casualty investigation,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.
The Danit was anchored in the correct place on Jan. 18 but started drifting a week later and repeatedly crossed the pipeline, John Amos, president of SkyTruth, which researches ships in the area, told Bloomberg News.
This comes as pipeline operator Amplify Energy Corp. said in a statement that it will remain focused on the “environmental remediation efforts as a part of the Unified Command and cooperating with all regulatory requirements and investigations.”
The Coast Gaurd also said that the investigation of the oil spill remains ongoing as multiple pipeline scenarios and additional vessels of interest are being investigated as well.