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Sunken boat mystery: Where did 3 million gallons of oil go?

In 1941, the tanker Montebello was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine off the California coast, taking 3 million gallons of crude oil with it as it sank.

All 38 crewmen aboard the Union Oil Co. vessel survived and rowed their way ashore. But since the World War II attack, the tanker has rested 900 feet below the ocean surface off the Cambria coast.

In recent years, worries have mounted that if crude began to leak from the 440-foot vessel it could foul the state’s waters and shoreline.

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