A U.S. Coast Guard investigative team considers that the container ship MSC Danit may have been involved in a potential pipeline hit some eight months before the San Pedro Bay Pipeline spill.
ore specifically, the investigators believe that the line was hooked and dragged by an anchor, displacing a 4,000-foot section of pipe by around 100 feet and breaking off the line’s concrete outer casing.
I’m highly confident – I’m convinced – that this was the initial event that deflected the pipeline
commented lead investigator Capt. Jason Neubauer said at a press conference October 8.
Mr. Neubauer also added that evidence from an ROV inspection indicates that the anchor strike could have taken place many months in the past.
We’re going to comb over that and get a very detailed picture of the communications and the vessel movements during that time
What is more, the Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach investigators determined that MSC Danit dragged anchor near the pipeline on January 25, during the previously-identified heavy weather event. In fact, the Danit fits the Coast Guard’s expectation that the anchor drag incident involved a large, deep-draft merchant vessel.
Furthermore, inspectors boarded when it called at the Port of Long Beach, in order to look for any evidence. USCG has also designated vessel operator Mediterranean Shipping Company and shipowner Dordellas Finance Corporation as “parties in interest” to the marine casualty investigation.
Finally, USCG clarified that multiple damage scenarios and “additional vessels of interest” are under investigation.