BRIDGES: Vessel strikes S.F.-Oakland Bay Bridge

Oil tanker empty at time of accident that caused minor damage to famous span

Bridges News Associated Press January 08, 2013
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Luckily, the 752-ft Overseas Reymar tanker was a shell of itself on the morning of Dec. 7. If it was full of oil, then the collision it had with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge might have been an environmental disaster. The vessel was empty when it struck the base of a tower of the famous span. No injuries were reported and the bridge was never closed to traffic.


The Coast Guard is in the process of conducting an investigation, and Caltrans was out immediately inspecting the 30- to 40-ft fender of steel and wood timbers that was damaged.


“There’s all kinds of speculations as to whether the ship had been pushed into the fender by a strong tide, rather than a head-on collision,” Charlie Goodyear, a spokesman for the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association, told the Associated Press.


Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said the damage was hardly noticeable from a distance. Still, the vessel collision reminded officials of when an oil leak from the Cosco Busan contaminated 26 miles of shoreline in 2007. As a precaution, over 4,000 ft of absorbent material was poured into the water after the Overseas Reymar hit. The Coast Guard does not believe any hazardous material leaked into the Bay.

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