Oct 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard boarded a container
ship on Saturday in the Port of Long Beach that dragged its
anchor close to a subsea pipeline found to be the source of an
oil spill off Orange County, California, it said in a press
The spill released some 3,000 barrels (126,000 gallons) of
crude oil into the Pacific Ocean, killing wildlife, blackening
the coastline and forcing officials to close beaches south of
In its statement, the Coast Guard said an investigation had
determined that the MSC DANIT was involved in the
anchor-dragging incident "during a heavy weather event" that
impacted Long Beach and Los Angeles ports in January.
As a result, it said, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company
S.A., 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.
The designation allows the companies to be represented by
counsel, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and call witnesses
who are relevant to the investigation, the Coast Guard said.
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company did not immediately
respond to a request for comment. The Dordellas Finance
Corporation could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Coast Guard said the investigation was ongoing and that
"multiple pipeline scenarios" as well as additional vessels of
interest continue to be investigated.
Amplify Energy, which owns the pipeline, has said
it was "pulled like a bowstring" about 105 feet (32 meters) from
where it should have been.
(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Daniel Wallis)