Did A Ship Anchor Hit The Pipeline In California?

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound.


Take a piece of copper or plastic tubing and bend it until it “fails”. Note that the areas 90 degrees to the radius (top and bottom) show the greatest deformation. Those areas are under the greatest stress.


Not the first time an old pipeline develop a sudden leak:

PS> This one without any foreign ship around to blame.

Also not the first time a CEO gets a bonus despite major accidents happening:
Marathon Petroleum’s former CEO got a $272,000 bonus for surpassing environmental goals the same year the company spilled 1,400 barrels of fuel in an Indiana creek


Here is the NOAA wave analysis chart for 18Z (10am PST) on Jan 25, 2021

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Finding the cause, who is to blame and if they will be held accountable will take much longer.

Several federal and state agencies are investigating in parallel as they seek the cause of the pipe rupture, how quickly pipeline operators responded and determine whether criminal charges are warranted.

Coast Guard Capt. Jason Neubauer said investigators are trying to find which ship among thousands of possibilities may have snagged the pipeline with its anchor in the past year, possibly during rough seas and high winds in January.

While the USCG is busy find out which (foreign) ship(s) to blame for damaging the pipeline a Lawyer firm is just as busy trying to round up customers to sue for damages, loss of earnings, or mental stress:

I feel stressed over this debacle. Can a foreigner join in the feast??

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A ship’s anchor MAY have been involved when >40 year old pipeline leaked off California.

Solution; ban ships from anchoring:

Solution to stop road accidents; ban cars.


The post above is an example of the “nut picking fallacy”.

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No more anchoring off Calif ?LOL. Just more proof of stupid shit people who sit behind desk and make decisions about an industry they know nothing of. Unfortunately these same type of people get hired in the office.


As is the one below yours (and above this one).

Latest on the investigation:

Investigators Say MSC Containership Dragged Anchor Near Broken San Pedro Bay Pipeline in January


Why the pipeline began leaking when it did remains under investigation. The Coast Guard marine casualty investigation remains ongoing and multiple pipeline scenarios and additional vessels of interest continue to be investigated.

Any notes on what the wind was doing that day or how many shots of chain they had out?

I learned from the drillships that naval architects recommend an anchor sized for the basic hull shape and not all the stuff placed above main deck. And I learned that that most owners are ok purchasing just the recommended minimum.

Yes, it was the Jan 25th storm that was the weather event mentioned before.

, conditions were reported as 30-55 knot winds and seas as high as 17 feet recorded by a San Pedro Bay buoy. Of the more than 50 ships at anchor leading up to the storm, 24 ships raised anchor and went to sea for storm avoidance.

Regarding anchor size, scope and so forth; our charterer required that we compute “critical wind speed” and if the expected wind speed was going to exceed the calculated critical wind speed we’d just leave the anchorage or never anchor in the first place rather than trying to heave anchor in unfavorable conditions.


A bit off topic so I’ll start another thread at some point but here is a table that shows some examples of the relationship between putting out extra shots of anchor chain (shackles) and the resultant increase in holding power

“7ss” being 7 shots (shackles) and “10ss” being 10 shots. Putting out three extra shots only gains about 1 m/sec (or about 2 knots).

From the table taking the example of the 3,800 TEU container ship the ship is equally at risk for dragging with 7 shots out at 16.3 m/sec as it is with 10 shots at 17.3 m/sec)

Double m/sec to approx knots. 1 m/sec ≈ 2 knots

Straight out of the ABS rules for anchor/chain sizing:

“The requirements herein are intended for temporary mooring of a vessel within a harbor or sheltered area when the vessel is awaiting berth, tide, etc…The equipment is therefore not designed to hold a vessel off fully exposed coasts in rough weather or to stop a ship that is moving or drifting. In this condition, the loads on the anchoring equipment increase to such a degree that its components may be damaged or lost owing to the high energy forces generated, particularly in large vessels.”

So the “minimum” isn’t even the minimum for their intended anchoring location.

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It’s not just “fully exposed coast” it’s fully exposed in rough weather"

Trick is not to be anchored in an offshore anchorage during rough weather.

This is from facebook page at the link. Looks like the MSC Danit may have left the anchorage for weather, she’s westbound in this screenshot.

They may have not noticed that pipeline when they anchored and not fully realized the risk.

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FleetMon’s AIS vessel tracking data shows the giant container vessel, MSC DANIT to be moving erratically over the pipeline while anchored off the Port of Long Beach on January 24-25, 2021. The vessel had then departed to the west, away from the high winds along the east coast of Catalina Island.

From this FleetMon article:

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