SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Coast Guard investigators on Tuesday plan to interview the pilot of an empty tanker that struck a tower in the middle of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge while navigating beneath the hulking span.
The 752-foot Overseas Reymar rammed the tower on Monday afternoon as it headed out to sea, according to the Coast Guard and state transportation officials.
The unidentified pilot also will report to the state Board of Pilot Commissioners, which will conduct its own investigation of the accident. That board regulates bar pilots.
Coast Guard spokesman Shawn Lansing said the pilot and others on board during the accident will be tested for drug and alcohol use “per federal regulations.”
Mr. Lansing said investigators will inspect the hull above and below the waterline and are exploring possible factors. Visibility at the time was about a quarter-mile, but officials didn’t say if that was a factor.
“There’s always the human factor,” Mr. Lansing said.
Mr. Lansing said the ship’s double hull wasn’t breached, and state officials said the bridge sustained minor damage but remained opened immediately after the accident. The crash damaged 30 to 40 feet of “fender” material that will need to be replaced.
Monday’s mishap brought back memories of a major crash in November 2007 in which the 902-foot Cosco Busan rammed the bridge and spilled 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay.
That accident contaminated 26 miles of shoreline, killed more than 2,500 birds and delayed the start of the crab-fishing season. Capt. John Cota, the pilot of the Cosco Busan, was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors.
The mishap Monday did not affect traffic on the busy bridge — the main artery between San Francisco and Oakland.
The parent company that owns the Marshall Islands-registered ship, OSG Ship Management Inc., said the accident occurred as the vessel hit an underwater portion of the massive bridge structure. The Overseas Reymar was not carrying oil as cargo on Monday, only fuel to power its engines, Mr. Goodyear said.
The Coast Guard said no oil or hazardous materials were reported to have leaked into the water. Still, officials spread 4,000 feet of absorbent material on the water to be safe.
No crew members on the ship were injured, and its hull appeared to suffer some scrapes and minor indentations, Mr. Goodyear added.
“There’s all kinds of speculation as to whether the ship had been pushed into the fender by a strong tide, rather than a head-on collision,” Mr. Goodyear said. “In comparing this to 2007, this appears to be a much lesser impact.”View Entire Story
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
A carefully guided tour through the confusing world of modern bookselling and publishing.
Empowering mind/body/spirit and health dialogue along with cutting-edge, conscious social, political, and world commentary with Adam Omkara. Join the Evolution!
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal