Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

March 26, 2008

Many ships fail California test for spill alerts

A high number of inspected cargo ships entering California ports are failing routine emergency oil spill drills, according to state inspectors.

In public records obtained by The Sacramento Bee newspaper, 21 of 164 vessel given spot inspections by state officials over the past three years were lacking the ability to make phone notifications within the 30-minute time frame set down by a state law covering maritime oil spill procedures. Often the ship’s crew failed to locate the phone numbers or didn’t understand the task.

The Bee’s story comes on the heals of the Cosco Busan oil spill in which he container ship struck the Bay Bridge, spilling 53,000 gallons of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay. The ship’s crew failed to make the vital phone calls in time, among the reasons the spill grew so large.

Also included in the paper’s report is an illuminating time line from the first 90 minutes of the Cosco Busan spill.

The November 7, 2007 fuel oil spill killed more than 2,500 migratory birds.

Read the full story

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