Oil spill in CA Bay Area: Major Disaster

Spoke with my parents on the phone yesterday. They were disconsolate over this news, having gone for a walk near the shore and smelled the stench of the oil. The front page of the Chronicle had the following giant all caps headline: “HEARTBREAKING.”

[quote]SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 9 — Challenged by strong winds and tides, cleanup crews struggled Friday to contain an oil spill spreading in the San Francisco Bay as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency for the area.

No stranger to natural disasters in California, the governor traveled to the Bay Area on Friday for a briefing on the status of the 58,000-gallon spill, which started early Wednesday after a 900-foot container ship rammed into a tower of the Bay Bridge. The ship was crippled, and oozed the oil that has closed 16 beaches . . .

Fourteen local, state and federal agencies are now involved with the investigation, recovery and cleanup of the tanker’s payload, consisting of diesel fuel and dense oil used to power ships. But the cleanup effort has done little to blunt criticism aimed at those who first responded to the accident on Wednesday.

Initial reports of the accident suggested the oil spill dumped less than 200 gallons of fuel into the bay. City officials and the public did not learn from the Coast Guard about the true extent of the spill and its damage for roughly 12 hours.

Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco and other state leaders have expressed concern about the time it took to deliver accurate information about the extent of the spill.

Several state and federal investigations are under way to determine how the ship, the Cosco Busan, hit the Bay Bridge, whether the response was adequate and whether charges should be filed. . .

More than 200 workers were trying to corral the spill or clean soiled birds on Friday. About 18,000 feet of collection booms have been floated around the bay to skim and soak up oil. Twenty teams of wildlife experts have been working to collect and clean oil-stained animals. . .[/quote]
nytimes.com/2007/11/10/us/10 … ei=5087%0A

Here’s Alcatraz surrounded by oil slicks.

[quote]Emergency officials more than doubled the number of ships and cleanup workers attacking the massive oil spill throughout the Bay Area - while hundreds of frustrated citizens who tried to help were turned away from contaminated beaches and so-called training sessions.

“We’re going at the problem with everything we can, and making some good headway,” said Sheri Eng, petty officer with the Coast Guard, which is helping lead the cleanup effort. “There’s a lot of oil out there.”

The aggregated armada of boats on the water either searching for oily messes or mopping it up grew today from 11 to 60, Eng said, and the number of people working the cleanup shifts grew from 300 to 500.

Twenty of the boats are skimmers - specially rigged craft that skim oil up from the water - from private contractors hired by the company that owns the Cosco Busan container ship that rammed a Bay Bridge tower last week and dumped 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the bay . . .

The ship - the Cosco Busan - was at an Oakland dock on Saturday with a 100-foot-long gash in its side after crashing into a support tower of the Bay Bridge. . .

The oil spill has shut down most beaches around the Bay Area. It also closed Angel Island state park and idled the ferries that serve it.
sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c … ETAB1P.DTL

its a mess

catch bay area news anytime on this site


And in Europe.

[quote]About 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil has leaked near the Black Sea after a Russian oil tanker split in half - in a storm that sank two other cargo ships.

A Russian official said the tanker accident was a “very serious environmental disaster”[/quote]


It’s very typical of the liberal MSM to only report the bad things from oil spills. Where’s the fairness? Where’s the balance?

Boy, we really are shite at looking after our planet.

This has been a bad year for Korean public relations. First we get a Korean crazy gunman, then the Korean chick who squatted at Stanford for a year, and now Koreans cause a major oil spill. Krazy Koreans. Where is the San Francisco Korean student association to turn out and try to help out? I guess they’re all buying guns and plotting how to whine about how this will cause the korean reputation to be tarnished even more. Get out there and help you Krazy Korean Kids, if my country caused an oil spill in Taiwan I’d be making my presence known, offering to volunteer, standing in front of news cameras with a sign apologizing, donating money, etc. Krazy Koreans. :loco:

uh…nevermind that the ships crew is Chinese? And also dont mind that the pilot of the vessel is a white American who lives locally. And actually its the SHIPS PILOTS fault for this mishap .

Good thing he’s white. This is an extremely important aspect of the story.

You’re right, cfimages, the Russian situation is terrible.

[quote]At least two sailors died and 23 were missing Sunday when five ships sank in storms in the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, the official Russia Today Web site said.

The strong winds and high surf caused the Volgoneft-139 to split in two, spilling up 560,000 gallons of fuel oil, an official from Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry told CNN.

That is approximately 1,000 tons. In addition to the five ships that sank, many others were grounded, Russia Today reported.

The weather was hampering efforts to control the spill, which occurred in the Kerch Strait, the official said. The channel separates the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov.

The spill was moving toward the Ukrainian coast and Russia and Ukraine have set up a joint crisis center to deal with the disaster, the official said.

The Volnogorsk and the Nakhichevan – each carrying about 2,000 tons of sulfur – also broke apart as a result of the high waves and strong winds, a local transport official told RIA Novosti news agency. And a third sulfur-transporting vessel, the Kovel, went down later after striking the Volnogorsk, the agency reported.

A spokesman for the federal agency for sea and inland water transport, Aleksandr Davydenko, said conditions in the Kerch Strait were worsening. Twenty-foot waves and winds gusting to 78 mph were making the rescuers’ task difficult. . . [/quote]
cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/11 … sia.spill/

Sometimes I feel fortunate to work in a cubicle in an office building.

Meanwhile, they’re considering possibly filing criminal charges in the SF case, because the pilot may have been simply driving too fast in heavy fog. Here’s the gash in the ship.

Good thing he’s white. This is an extremely important aspect of the story.[/quote]

because “American” doesnt define race. And I didnt want you bashing Koreans in case he was Korean American :slight_smile:

Fact is this incident has nothing to do with Koreans. Its PILOT ERROR.

Good thing he’s white. This is an extremely important aspect of the story.[/quote]

because “American” doesnt define race. And I didnt want you bashing Koreans in case he was Korean American :slight_smile:

Fact is this incident has nothing to do with Koreans. Its PILOT ERROR.[/quote]

It does, a little. It makes it more of an international incident. A Chinese ship owned by Koreans - why did they have to hire an American to drive? Is it so they can say "we are not responsible for the cleanup because a white American did it? -pretty smart of them.

Bashing Koreans? I’m just making light of the PR angle - the Korean newspapers are funny to read after incidents like this, because of the rampant racism in Korea, that’s all.

And “nothing” to do with Koreans - yep, that’s rich. Why did they hire this guy - is he even qualified? Did he offer to work for cheap? Did they test him, monitor him, make sure he knew what he was doing, etc? Why did they hire an incompetent pilot when there are so many Korean and Chinese pilots who i am sure could do a better job?

trebuchet, you obviously know nothing about how vessels are allowed to enter ports, in the vast majority of countries around the world.

The pilot is not “hired” by the relevant shipping line, but is an employee of the relevant harbour/port authority. He should be trained by that Port Authority to a high standard as once he is on board, the safety of the ship is terms of navigation are his sole responsibility. The ships captain has no authority to over rule any instruction a pilot gives.

If the pilot was on board at the time of this incident, then it is his fault, if he wasnt, then it is the fault of the captain, pure and simple unless equipment breakdown can be shown to be the over riding cause.

Well obviously you know even less then I do about international shipping. Large vessels are NOT allowed to just go into and out of major ports using solely their own crew. Major ports have HARBOUR PILOTS who are hired by the authorities of the port (usually a government entity) to direct the entry and departure of large vessels into and out of the harbour.

The vessels are usually met about one or two nautical miles outside of the arrival port by a tender. The assigned Harbour Pilot then boards the vessel and directs the vessels entry into the harbour. Often accompanied by harbour tugs (dependent on the port). The pilot does NOT physically take over the wheel but instead is there to issue commands. He becomes essentially the temporary captain as far as this phase is concerned. He would be in liaison with any tugs that are waiting to help berth the vessel as well. He guides the vessel until it is safely moored at dock.

Upon departure, once again a Harbour Pilot is assigned to that ship for the departure until the vessel is clearly able to safely be underway on its own direction.

At San Francisco (port of Oakland) . The tender meets large vessels just outside of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Harbour Pilot then boards the ship and directs the vessel until it is safely moored and then dis-embarks.

At departure the vessel is under the command of the Harbour Pilot who boards the ship at berth and then directs it till it is outside the Golden Gate bridge. He is followed out there by a tender. He then dis-embarks the ship and the tender brings him back to his station.

IN Keelung I often watched ships being met off shore at Wanli by tenders and the pilot boards the ship for its arrival into keelung Harbour. But on departure usually the pilot dis-embarks just inside Keelung harbour when the ship is pointed directly out of the harbour.

Several years ago I read a Taiwanese newspaper that stated a Keelung Harbour Pilot made about 10 million taiwan dollars a year in salary. And I thought WOW. They are usually very seasoned captains able to direct vessels of all types. Think container ship and then major oil tanker, etc.

I am sure they are very well paid in the USA as well.

the Hanjin container ship HAD TO have an assigned Harbour Pilot take it in and out of port. IT had no choice as to who is assigned for this job.

The Port of Oakland in this case hired and assigned the pilot in question. I am sure they are asking many questions of their staffing procedures right now . Because in the end the insurance company will pick up the tab for this occurence AND you can be sure they will sue to recover every dollar. In this case the Port of Oakland will be sued, along with the pilot and whoever else is deemed to be at fault. Even the Coast Guard for its delayed response.

p.s. I knew you were having a tongue in cheek at kimchee eaters, but its still not fair tho.

Does that mean the pilot was a pot-smoking-gay-liberal-hippie?


the blame game begins now