USCG Designates MSC a ‘Party in Interest’ In Pipeline Fracture Investigation

tar ball cleanup
tar ball cleanup
Members from a contracted cleanup team pick up a tar ball on Crystal Cove Beach in Newport Beach, California, Oct. 14, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Janessa Warschkow.

U.S. Coast Guard officials have designated MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, S.A. and Dordellas Finance Corporation as “parties in interest” in their investigation into the pipeline fracture that leaked thousands of crude into Orange County waters.

USCG and National Transportation Safety Board officials on Saturday boarded the MSC Danit in the Port of Long Beach, where USCG Los Angeles-Long Beach Sector Chief of Investigations Lt. Cmdr. Braden Rostad determined that the container vessel was part of an anchor-dragging incident that occurred in heavy weather on Jan. 25. The incident happened near a subsea pipeline, the source of the Oct. 2 oil spill, according to the agency.

“The party in interest designations provide the owner and operator of the MSC Danit the opportunity to be represented by counsel, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to call witnesses who are relevant to the investigation,” according to the USCG.

The investigation is ongoing and “multiple pipeline scenarios and additional vessels of interest continue to be investigated,” the USCG said in a statement.

Anyone information relevant to the investigation may contact the USCG at

By Karen Robes Meeks