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Monday, January 7, 2013

Oil Tanker Hits Bay Bridge, No Signs of Spilled Oil (Update)

Posted By on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 2:06 PM

click to enlarge The "Overseas Reymar," stopped in the Bay between Pier 33 and Treasure Island. - ALBERT SAMAHA
  • Albert Samaha
  • The "Overseas Reymar," stopped in the Bay between Pier 33 and Treasure Island.

Update 4:10 p.m.: Looks like there was for sure no oil spilled after the Overseas Reymar tanker collided with the Bay Bridge's eastern tower this morning. Both the tanker and the tower sustained some scrapes, California Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jordan Scott told the Associated Press. The AP also reported that California Department of Transportation maintenance crews are inspecting the bridge to make sure there is no significant damage.

The bridge remained open to traffic throughout the day. When the tanker hit the bridge, visibility was about a quarter mile, according to NBC Bay Area. There was also thick fog when the Cosco Busan hit the bridge in 2007. Coast guard officials interviewed Reymar's pilot.

Original story 2:06 p.m.: At around 11:20 a.m today, an oil tanker hit the Bay Bridge's eastern tower.

The tanker was empty and emergency crews said that they have not seen spilled oil in the water, the Chronicle reported. Still, officials from the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife established a nearby command post and sent patrol boats to inspect the scene.

See also:

Dead Sea: An unpublished study shows the surprisingly lethal effects of the Cosco Busan oil spill. Why are government scientists helping the ship's owner keep it a secret?

Cosco Busan Operators Agree to Pay San Francisco Fishermen $3.65 Million

After all, the scene is all too reminiscent of what happened in November 2007, when the Cosco Busan tanker hit a Bay Bridge tower and spilled 50,000-plus gallons of oil into the bay. That collision killed 7,000 birds, resulted in a $3.65 million settlement between the shipping company and local fisherman, and, as SF Weekly reported in 2010, led federal and state scientists to conceal their findings from the public.

So you can understand the precaution.

Today's accident involved the Overseas Reymar, a 751-foot ship owned by the Athens, Greece-based OSG Ship Management, according to the Chron.

Charlie Goodyear, a spokesman for the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association, told the paper that the empty tanker had been heading out to sea, and that "there is no puncture in the hull of ship."

The tanker is currently sitting still several hundred yards off Pier 33.

Check back for updates.


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Albert Samaha

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