“This is an investigation with objective parties involved, so eventually we’ll know the outcome,” Anderson said.
Freighters entering the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach regularly pass through the area. Arrears have plagued ports in recent months, and several dozen or more giant ships have been regularly anchored while waiting to enter ports and unload.
Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jeannie Shaye said the Coast Guard was not made aware of the disaster until Saturday morning, although records show its hazardous spill response hotline received the first report of a possible oil spill on Friday evening.
A foreign vessel anchored off the coast witnessed an “unknown shard in the water near their vessel” at 6:13 p.m. and the report was called to the response center just after 8:22 p.m., according to the state report. .
Lonnie Harrison Jr., vice president of Colonial Compliance Systems Inc., which works with foreign ships in U.S. waters to report spills, said one of his clients reported the sighting.
Harrison, a retired Coast Guard captain, said the ship was not involved in the spill and was then cleared over the weekend to enter port to refuel after having determined that it was not contaminated by the slick.
About six hours after receiving the first report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that satellite imagery had spotted a possible oil slick more than 3 miles long. The National Response Center report said the image of a “possible oil anomaly” was likely associated with the first report.