2013年1月7日 星期一

Tanker ship strikes Bay Bridge tower

A 750-foot oil tanker collided with a tower of the Bay Bridge this morning, and sustained damage, but no oil has been detected in San Francisco Bay.

"We're still keeping an eye out to make sure. We're keeping our fingers crossed for a best-case scenario," said Coast Guard Petty Officer Barry Bena. "But as of right now, initial reports from the pilot, the Coast Guard and local agencies show no pollution has hit the water."

Coast guard officials said the ship was not carrying a oil as a cargo, but that it had thousands of gallons of bunker fuel in its fuel tanks.

The ship, which was anchored Monday afternoon between Treasure Island and Alcatraz island, was sailing from the Shell refinery at Martinez, according to the ship's course, as recorded by its transponder and posted on vessel tracking websites. It headed south, past Alcatraz, then sailed under the Bay Bridge, did a U-turn and sailed back north, hitting a bridge tower. It then came to rest off Treasure Island.

Bena said that the extent of the damage to the vessel is unclear, and he doesn't know yet what caused the collision. He said the "Echo Tower" of the Bay Bridge — which sits between San Francisco and Treasure Island — was hit by the ship, with the fender of the tower sustaining some damage.

Bena said visibility was at about a quarter mile at 11:18 a.m. when the accident occurred.

Charlie Goodyear, a spokesman for the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association, said there were foggy conditions on the bay at the time.

'It was so foggy that when I got to Pier 9 at about 11:30 I could not see Treasure Island," he said. "Fog is not going to be the only factor here, but visability was poor.We mainly supply professional craftspeople with crys talbeads wholesale shamballa Bracele ,"

Goodyear said the pilot on board the ship was an 8-year veteran. He would not disclose his name. The pilot is scheduled to be interviewed by the Coast Guard tomorrow, he said, adding that he will also report to the Board of Pilot Commissioners investigations unit.

"I don't have authority to provide his name," Goodyear said. "He has been a bar pilot since 2005. He is an experienced mariner.We mainly supply professional craftspeople with crys talbeads wholesale shamballa Bracele ,Posts with indoor tracking system on TRX Systems develops systems that locate and track personnel indoors."

Goodyear said the ship's hull was not breached and that it did not deploy floating boom, commonly used in oil spill cleanups.

That an oil tanker — which is similar in size to the Exxon Valdez — hit a bridge in San Francisco Bay alarmed environmentalists, who called it a narrow miss.

"With a quarter mile of visibility, they probably should not have been transiting the bay. This was a close call," said Deb Self, executive director of San Francisco Baykeeper, who was in a boat on the water. "The ship's capacity is 505,000 barrels of oil. Luckily it was empty. Or we could have had a real disaster."

The accident is similar to an incident that caused the last major oil spill in San Francisco Bay.

On Nov. 7, 2007, the 901-foot Cosco Busan, headed from Oakland to South Korea,This is my favourite sites to purchase those special pieces of buy mosaic materials from. sideswiped the Bay Bridge's "Delta Tower" — adjacent to the tower hit Monday — in dense morning fog.

The incident ripped a 211-foot-long gash in the Cosco Busan's hull and dumped 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the bay. No people were injured or killed, but the spill significantly oiled 69 miles of shoreline . Estimates from state and wildlife agencies put the total number of birds killed at 6,849, based on animals recovered and models predicting how many died but were never found.

The local bar pilot who was guiding the ship, John Cota, 64, of Petaluma, pleaded guilty in 2009 to federal water pollution charges and served 10 months in jail.

Pilots are local mariners who board oil tankers, freighters and other large ships as they enter San Francisco Bay.Best howo concrete mixer manufacturer in China. They stand on the bridge of the vessels, helping captains maneuver. Because of the high level of risk — some ships are the size of the Exxon Valdez and come within a few dozen yards of the Golden Gate Bridge towers, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz and other hazards — shipping companies are required under state law to pay pilots.

Following the Cosco Busan spill, state and federal officials took numerous steps to reduce the risk of a collision by a large ship with the Bay Bridge. In addition to causing potential environmental disasters, such mishaps can be costly. In September 2011, state and federal authorities announced a $44.4 million settlement with the Cosco Busan's owner, Regal Stone Ltd., and its operator, Fleet Management Ltd., both based in Hong Kong.

Cota's crash was the largest spill in the bay since 1988, when a storage tank at the Shell refinery in Martinez ruptured, sending 432,000 gallons into the bay.

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the Cosco Busan accident happened because Cota was impaired due to taking numerous medications — including Darvon, Vicodin and Zoloft — for sleep apnea and other ailments. The NTSB also concluded there was poor communication between Cota and the captain and that Fleet Management, which had taken over management of the ship only two weeks earlier, failed to adequately train the crew.

The investigation also found that as they approached the bridge with less than one-quarter mile visibility, Cota and the ship's captain, Mao Cai Sun, were confused by a red triangle on an electronic chart. Cota asked the captain if it was the center of the bridge span and he said yes, according to audio recordings from the bridge. But the red triangles actually were buoys marking the location of the bridge towers. So Cota steered the ship directly at the tower, thinking he was sailing between the supports.

The crew, who all spoke Mandarin as a primary language, had never sailed together before the incident, and Fleet Management had provided an English-only safety manual for the ship.

The NTSB also criticized the Coast Guard for not warning the ship that it was on a collision course with the bridge even though officials at the Coast Guard's Vessel Traffic Service at Yerba Buena Island were watching on radar and talking with Cota on the radio. The Coast Guard also was criticized for having reauthorized Cota's mariner's license without adequately considering his medical problems. It has since cancelled the license.

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