The Coast Guard said it’s continuing to investigate Monday morning’s allision by the Overseas Reymar with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, but noted Tuesday an initial review of communication between the ship and the port’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) revealed that “VTS warned the ship prior to the allision.”
The tanker reported the allision at 11:20 a.m. Monday. There were no reports of injuries in the incident or during the subsequent response by the Coast Guard, Caltrans, the California Department of Fish and Game, and other federal, state and local agencies. There has been no sign of pollution from the vessel.
The 69,636-deadweight-ton Panamax crude carrier is double-hulled and is owned by New York-based Overseas Shipholding Group. It is registered in the Marshall Islands.
The ship was anchored in Anchorage 7, just west of Treasure Island, where it was ordered to remain by the Coast Guard captain of the port shortly after the incident. The Coast Guard said its inspectors and other maritime experts are still assessing the damage to the ship to determine what repairs may be required before it will be allowed to sail.
The Coast Guard said its investigation is in its initial stages and will require interviews, technical analyses, ship and hull inspections, a review of all records and typically requires several months to complete. Drug and alcohol tests for the pilot, master, and key crew members were conducted. The alcohol test results are negative and the drug test results are not yet available.
The Coast Guard said the Vessel Traffic Service communicates with all large commercial ships moving through the bay and they were in contact with the Overseas Reymar Monday morning. Audio recordings of radio traffic and other evidence are part of the ongoing investigation, but the Coast Guard said they are not releasable until the investigation is complete.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be conducting its own investigation of the incident.
In 2007, the containership Cosco Busan struck the same bridge and caused an oil spill. The owner and operator of the ship ended up paying civil and criminal fines that exceeded $50 million and the pilot of the ship was sentenced to 10 months in jail. – Chris Dupin