Coast Guard issues “party in interest” designation

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) marine casualty investigators boarded the motor vessel BEIJING, Thursday, in the Port of Long Beach.

Prior to the visit, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Braden Rostad, Chief of Investigations, Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach determined that the motor vessel BEIJING 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 V.Ships Greece Ltd., the operator of the vessel, and Capetanissa Maritime Corporation 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 the 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 Company, S.A. (MSC), the operator of the MSC Danit, and Dordellas Finance Corporation, the owner of the MSC Danit as a party in interest on October 15, 2021.

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