No oil found in the S.S. Montebello

October 21, 2011

The S.S. Montebello, the World War II oil tanker sunk off the coast of Cambria by a Japanese torpedo, doesn’t pose an oil spill risk. {Fresno Bee]

Officials with the state Department of Fish and Game made the announcement Thursday following an investigation as to whether or not an estimated three million gallons of oil remained in the hold of the ship.

“After careful evaluation of the data, we have concluded with a high level of confidence that there is no oil threat from the S.S. Montebello,” Coast Guard Capt. Roger Laferriere said.

The ship was hauling the oil from California to Canada the day of the attack in 1941.

The Montebello has been sitting upright ever since, 900 feet below the surface about six miles off Cambria. Officials have assessed cargo and fuel tanks and have collected ocean floor sediment samples using an underwater remotely operated vehicle.

The $5 million operation was funded by a tax paid for by the oil industry.

Fish and Game took park in the operation with the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A final report is expected next spring.







  1. r0y says:

    No Oil Found… that’s a misleading headline! In fact, there WAS oil found. Just that it was insignificant. Maybe you meant “No Oil THREAT Found…” ?

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. Myself says:

    Nice to know that there is no oil, so they tell us,too bad it cost 5 mil that was robbed from the gas companys,service stations and what not, but there never was any oil in that ship, it was sunk on purpose to get our attention and help get us into the war, how many ships were torpedoed on the Ca coast, one, how many times did the Japs warn the ship they were going to sink 20 minutes before they sunk it,one, there are still a few of the old timers left that can tell you this and I believe that Dan Kreiger wrote and article on this a couple years ago.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. Maxfusion says:

    With money stolen from the petroleum industry the bureaucrats have a five million dollar diving vacation off the California coast. Four hundred and fifty two oil tankers were sunk in the Atlantic, and 486 in the Pacific during WWII. Let’s see, 938 times five million, WOW just wait until the green weenies get wind of this. Break out the asshats Rudy, the ship of fools is back in port.

    (-2) 14 Total Votes - 6 up - 8 down
  4. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Boy you just can’t make some people happy. If they didn’t go down and there was a great amount and it all spilled in a few years, everyone would be screaming why didn’t we do something. Amazing. This right here is why are political landscape is so SCREWED up!! People just can’t find the good in anything anymore.

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
    • slomike says:

      Did you click the link? It was already checked out. And not on our dime. Chill.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        No I didn’t read the link, I read the paper this morning and knew it wasn’t on our dime. So back to my ORIGINAL point, why is it that people just can’t be happy??

        (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  5. slomike says:

    Seems this was a $5 million dollar boondoggle. This wreck was visited in 2003. No evidence of oil was found. It did serve to divert time and energy from the pressing matters that abound in California. Maybe Senator Sam can now be a leader by being the first Republican to split publicly with Grover Norquist.

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  6. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Glad (as many I’m sure) to hear that it is most likely safe and no danger to it’s surroundings.

    (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
    • IherpedAndThenI Derped says:

      That just means the oil has already leaked out over the years… so they spent 5 million dollars to figure out that whatever damage it could pose has happened already.

      (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down

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