Cargo ship leaks oil into Los Angeles Harbor

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(LOS ANGELES) — The Coast Guard and California Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response are investigating an oil spill that occurred on Sunday in the Los Angeles Harbor. A unified command has been established that includes the Coast Guard, California Fish and Wildlife, and the responsible party.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center received a report at 6:30 p.m. Sunday of an unknown quantity of oil in the vicinity of the 577-foot cargo ship Istra Ace. The ship was reported to have been leaking heavy fuel in the Cerritos Channel at Berth 198. Reports of oil were also observed throughout portions of Cerritos Channel, where booming strategies have been employed.

Coast Guard investigators from Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, along with members of California Fish and Wildlife, Los Angeles Port Police and Los Angeles County Fire are assisting in the investigation and monitoring of the area. A Coast Guard helicopter overflight and shoreline cleanup assessments are scheduled at first light to help determine the extent of the oil spilled.

The Coast Guard issued a safety zone restricting recreational and commercial vessel traffic in the affected area. These restrictions will ensure that vessels do not impede cleanup operations as well as avoid any possible contamination. Due to response efforts, the operations of the Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge have been temporarily suspended, restricting vessel traffic from transiting underneath the bridge. However, automobile traffic is not affected.

The responsible party has contracted with the National Response Corporation Environmental Services and other subcontractors to assist in efforts to contain and clean the oil. Currently, 15,600 feet of boom has been deployed around the vessel as well as at critical points in the channel. Additional resources will be deployed as necessary.

At this time, there have been no reports of oiled wildlife. If you encounter oiled wildlife, please do not attempt to capture the animal, instead please call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at the following number: 1-877-UCD-OWCN or 1 (877) 823-6926.

If you feel that this pollution incident has impacted you, a claims number has been provided. To make a claim, please call 1 (888) 850-8486.

By Professional Mariner Staff