An official told the Associated Press that the Coast Guard did not investigate reports of an oil spill for approximately 12 hours due to not enough valid information and was set back due to the darkness and lack of technology.
A "good samaritan" alerted the Coast Guard on Friday evening, Rear Admiral Brian Penoyer acknowledged. The "good samaritan" told them that there was a sheen on the water. The Coast Guard would then put out in a broadcast to many cargo ships and tanker ships that were anchored off the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports looking for more information. There were no other supporting reports of oil from any of the ships.
Rear Admiral Brian Penoyer said that it is common to get reports of a sheen being seen near a busy seaport. An oil pipeline company took more than 12 hours to report a spill.
“In hindsight, it seems obvious, but they didn’t know that at that time,” ... “So putting yourself in the position of what they did know, this is a very normal process.”
Coast Guard Captain, Rebecca Ore said during a recent news conference that the source of the leak was a 17-mile pipeline that bent and had a very large split in it. It had been displaced by 105 feet on the seafloor. Investigators working this situation are looking into the possibility an anchor could have struck this pipeline causing the leak, but that has not been ruled as the cause officially.