The US Coast Guard is investigating whether the Rotterdam Express, a giant German-flagged cargo ship, may have played a role in causing a 127,000-gallon oil spill in Southern California waters, AP. reports.
running news: US Coast Guard investigators boarded the cargo ship on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the cause of the oil spill, the largest in recent California history.
- The ship, which is now docked in the port of Oakland, made three unusual movements in two days while anchored near a break in the pipeline, the AP reports.
- An official told the AP that investigators are seeking to collect tracking information from the Rotterdam Express that could shed light on the ship’s exact movements.
- Officials said on Wednesday that the Amplify Energy Pipeline was split open and pulled along the ocean floor, possibly by a ship’s anchorage.
big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Tuesday over an oil spill that is believed to have dumped 127,000 gallons of oil into the sea.
- Officials have warned that the Rotterdam Express oil spill is just one potential area of interest for the investigation.
What are they saying: “There are a range of strange things and everyone needs to be explained, Nicholas Ziros, a professor of marine engineering at the University of New Orleans, told the AP.
- “It could very well be an accident of some sort, but it is not necessarily a human error. We will have to see. But … I think the most likely explanation is that the ship with the anchor both forward and aft drifts to the side and possibly damages the pipeline.”
go in: California oil spill may have been caused by ship’s anchorage