November 8, 2007
Bunker spill after box ship hits Bay Bridge
The motor vessel Cosco Busan, a 900-foot container carrier, allided with one of the towers of the San Francisco Bay Bridge Wednesday morning, prompting a response from the Coast Guard, CALTRANS, the city of San Francisco and several other state and local agencies.
The allision occurred at 8:30 a.m. when the vessel, out bound at the time of the accident with a pilot onboard, reported damage to the forward left side causing IFO380 bunker fuel to spill into the San Francisco Bay. Fuel was transferred from the compromised tanks to stop the leaking and clean up actions were immediately initiated to begin the removal of fuel from the San Francisco Bay.
A preliminary estimation of the actual amount of fuel spilled into the bay has been announced at 58,000 gallons using tank measurement methods. Approximately 8,000 gallons had been recovered as of 8:30 p.m. last night
CALTRANS has confirmed there is no structural damage to the SF Bay Bridge.
The following beaches are closed until further notice as a precautionary measure for public health concerns; Baker Beach, Crissy Field, China Beach, Kirby Cove, and Fort Point.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management Board is actively participating in safety monitoring and will perform sampling of air along port property. Ferry schedules have not been interrupted because the spill did not pose risks to passengers or crews.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has ordered the vessel to Anchorage 9. The U.S. Coast Guard is the lead agency for both monitoring and clean up of the spill. A Unified Command has been set up with the US Coast Guard, California Fish and Game Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response and the O'Brien's Group (contracted by the responsible party). Pollution investigators and marine inspectors from the U.S. Coast Guard are continuing their investigation into the amount of the fuel and the cause of the accident.