Coast Guard investigating cargo ship's connection to California oil spill
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating whether the Rotterdam Express, a massive German-flagged cargo ship, could have played a role in causing the 126,000-gallon oil spill in Southern California waters, AP reports.
Driving the news: U.S. Coast Guard investigators boarded the cargo ship on Wednesday as part of the investigation into the cause of the oil spill, which is among the largest in recent California history.
- The ship, now docked in the Port of Oakland, made three unusual movements over two days while anchored near where the break in the pipeline occurred, AP reports.
- The investigators are seeking to collect tracking information from the Rotterdam Express that could shed light on the ship's exact movements, an official told AP.
- Officials said Wednesday that the Amplify Energy pipeline was split open and dragged along the ocean floor, potentially by a ship's anchor.
The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday declared a state of emergency due to the oil spill, which is believed to have dumped 126,000 gallons of oil into the ocean.
- Officials caution that the Rotterdam Express is just one potential area of interest for the investigation into the oil spill.
What they're saying: "There is a series of peculiar things and all that need to be explained," Nikolas Xiros, a professor of marine engineering at the University of New Orleans, told AP.
- "It may very well be some kind of an accident, but not necessarily a human error. We will have to see. But … I think the most probable explanation is the ship with anchor down moved both back and forth and possibly caused damage to the pipeline."
Go deeper: California oil spill may have been caused by ship anchor