San Pedro, CA–Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board marine casualty investigators have designated the motor vessel Beijing “party in interest” Thursday in the Port of Long Beach in the ongoing investigation of last month’s Orange County oil spill.
Prior to boarding the vessel, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Braden Rostad, Chief of Investigations, Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach determined that the vessel Beijing was involved on 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.
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 6303 and 46 Code of Federal Regulations 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.