Authorities on Tuesday said the pipeline that caused the oil spill into the water off Orange County, leaking tens of thousands of oil, was cut open and seemed to be dragged along the bottom of the ocean.
Citing divers, Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ora said that around 4, 000 feet of the pipeline was determined to have been “laterally displaced” by estimated 105 feet, but she did not further on what triggered the movement.
Ore added that a 13-inch cut was discovered at the pipeline.
According to the leader of the company which manages the line, the pipe was moved into “almost semicircle.”
“The pipeline has essentially been pulled like a bow string. And so at its widest point, it is 105 feet away from where it was,” said Martyn Willsher, Amplify CEO, at a news briefing.
A ship’s anchor is being considered as the probable cause of the spill, officials on Monday said, but it was not yet confirmed on Tuesday.
Earlier Tuesday, The Associated Press received information from the office saying the for about 12 hours, the Coast Guard did not put the matter into investigation because of the darkness, lack of equipment, and the insufficiency of validating evidence.
The Coast Guard was informed by a “good Samaritan” of a sheen on the water on Friday night, Rear Admiral Brian Penoyer recognized.
The force, according to Penoyer, initially communicated to multiple tankers and cargo ships, as well as oil rigs, to find more details but to no avail.
Ore, however, was doubtful about the broadcast on ships and oil rigs that Penoyer is referring to.
The rear admiral said reports of sheen are usually received close to a busy harbor.
It would take over 12 hours before the spill that could put 126,000 gallons of heavy crude could be reported by the oil platforms.
“In hindsight, it seems obvious, but they didn’t know that at that time,” Penoyer said. “So putting yourself in the position of what they did know, this is a very normal process.”
Huntington Beach was affected by the spill of up to 126,000 gallons of heavy crude before it reached mile-stretch of beaches and even protected wetland. This caused a major blow to the local economy as it shut beaches for weeks or so, and affected commercial and recreational fishing in coastal fisheries that were ordered closed, ABC7 reported.
Companies behind a spill can face prosecution if they fail to immediately report a spill, which is required by both the federal and state authorities.