Coast Guard issues “party in interest” designation in pipeline investigation

Alameda, CA – U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) marine casualty investigators boarded the container ship MSC DANIT, Saturday, in the Port of Long Beach.

Prior to the visit, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Braden Rostad, Chief of Investigations, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach determined that the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) DANIT was involved in a January 25, 2021, anchor-dragging incident during a heavy weather event that impacted the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The anchor-dragging incident occurred in close proximity to a subsea pipeline, which was subsequently discovered to be the source of the Orange County oil spill on October 2, 2021.

As a result, the Coast Guard designated the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, S.A. (MSC), the operator of the vessel, and Dordellas Finance Corporation, 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 the MSC DANIT 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.

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.

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