U.S. Coast Guard Boards German Ship as Part of Oil Spill Investigation

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German company says its container ship did not pass over pipeline during this period

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The Coast Guard could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday morning.

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According to a spokesman for the German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd AG, the Rotterdam Express container ship, which has a capacity of about 4,900 boxes, dropped its anchor on September 21..

The spokesman said the ship did not move from where it was anchored and did not pass over the pipeline. It was anchored at Long Beach until it was berthed on October 3. The ship departed Southern California two days later and reached Oakland on 6 October.

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The spokesperson said the company has no information about the investigation and has sent questions to the US Coast Guard regarding the outcome of the investigation. The spokesperson said the company is cooperating with the authorities.

Federal officials identified a 13-inch split in the ocean floor pipeline as a possible source of the oil spill. Coast Guard Captain Rebecca Ore said earlier this week that the tear was discovered by commercial divers who displaced 4,000 feet of a 17.7-mile pipeline by 105 feet from an oil-processing platform.

The cause of the breakdown, where 130,000 gallons were discovered on Saturday, is under investigation. Martin Wilser, chief executive of Amplify Energy Corp., which operates the offshore oil platform linked to the leak, said Monday that the leak was likely caused by an anchor hitting the pipeline.

Hundreds of people are working for the cleaning. Dead birds and fish have been washed away near California beaches.

—Costas Paris, Paul Berger and Paul Page contributed to this article.

Write to Allison Prang at [email protected]

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