Authorities are examining whether a ship’s anchor could have caused the devastating oil spill just off the Orange County coast over the weekend.
“These ships are anchored and many are awaiting entry into the San Pedro Bay Port complex the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. And in the course of transit it is possible that they would transit over pipeline,” US Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ore said in a news conference Monday.
Meanwhile, response efforts to the oil spill on Southern California’s coast line have doubled in the past 24 hours as officials continue to fly over the area and assess the leak from the water, according to the US Coast Guard.
Oil is appearing along the coast in the form of tar balls and tar patties from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach, which are closed as a result.
A fleet of boats are using booms and skimmers to isolate and contain the oil, which Ore calls a “complex, dynamic, and evolving situation.”
Additionally, 14 vessels are on water in addition to the Coast Guard and four teams are assessing the footprint of the spill, taking particular note of seven locally sensitive sites including Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and Talbert Marsh, according to Lt. Christian Corbo of California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles said his agency received multiple reports of a smell up and down the coast from lifeguards and police officers. Those reports were all unconfirmed, and Boyles said “about once a month methane-type smells are reported, sometimes with the receding tide.”