From KVEC News Talk 920: Potential Oil Leak Investigation Of World War II Era Tanker
San Luis Obispo, CA -- On December 23, 1941, about two weeks after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, a Japanese submarine lurking off the Central Coast launched a torpedo sinking the S.S. Montebello. Now 70 years later the Montebello is the focus of an investigation. Officials want to know if the World War II era tanker, that was carrying roughly three million gallons of crude oil, is leaking, or could leak it’s cargo in the future.
For the next ten days, dive crews using robotic submersibles, will study the ship’s hull to determine if it poses a threat to the ecosystem off the coast of Cambria. The multi-agency investigation is being funded by the Oil Spill Response Trust Fund. It is a federal fund paid for by oil companies and currently opened up for three to five million dollars for the mission; officials say while it is expensive, it is also necessary.