US Coast Guard boards MSC ship in ongoing California pipeline spill probe

The California pipeline spill off the coast of Huntington Beach, south of the Los Angeles, at the start of October may have been caused by a ship dragging anchor many months ago.

The US Coast Guard boarded the 13,200 teu MSC Danit on Saturday after it determined that it was involved in an anchor-dragging incident “during a heavy weather event” that impacted Long Beach and Los Angeles ports in January.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, which operates the vessel, and Dordellas Finance Corporation, the ship’s owner, have been designated by the Coast Guard as parties of interest in the investigation into the spill that saw some 3,000 barrels of crude spill into the Pacific.

The Coast Guard said the investigation was ongoing and that “multiple pipeline scenarios” as well as additional vessels of interest continue to be investigated.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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