(SAN PEDRO, Calif.) — Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) marine casualty investigators boarded the motor vessel Beijing on Thursday in the Port of Long Beach in connection with an anchor-dragging incident and subsequent offshore oil spill.
Prior to the visit, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Braden Rostad, chief of investigations, Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, determined that Beijing was involved in the Jan. 25 anchor incident during a heavy weather event that impacted the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The incident occurred in close proximity to a subsea pipeline, which was subsequently discovered to be the source of the Orange County oil spill on Oct. 2.
As a result, the Coast Guard designated V.Ships Greece Ltd., the operator of the vessel, and Capetanissa Maritime Corp. of Liberia, the owner of the vessel, as parties in interest to the marine casualty investigation as defined by 46 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 6303 and 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 4.03-10.
The party-in-interest designations provide the owner and operator of Beijing the opportunity to be represented by counsel, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to call witnesses who are relevant to the investigation.
The Coast Guard marine casualty investigation into the Orange County oil pipeline major marine casualty remains ongoing. Multiple pipeline scenarios and additional vessels of interest continue to be investigated.
The Coast Guard also designated the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A. (MSC), the operator of MSC Danit, and Dordellas Finance Corp., the owner of MSC Danit, as parties in interest on Oct. 15.
Members of the public who would like to share information deemed relevant to the investigation are encouraged to contact the Coast Guard at OCOILSPILLINV@gmail.com.
– U.S. Coast Guard