A major environmental threat looms for much of the wildlife along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico due to a recent oil rig disaster. Jeff Corwin from “The Animal Planet” reports from Biloxi, MS for the CBS Evening News.
Posts Tagged ‘Coast Guard report’
After studying the aftermath of the Cosco Busan’s collision with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard issued new restrictions Thursday for ships traveling on the bay during dense fog.
The Coast Guard will now limit vessels from sailing on the bay when foggy conditions limit visibility by less than half a mile. The guidelines apply to ships weighing more than 1,600 gross tons – such as tankers, large cargo vessels and cruise ships. The rules affect nine San Francisco Bay areas including those near the Bay Bridge, the San Mateo Bridge and the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
According to the report, the decision to set sail in dense fog played a key role in the November 7, 2007 collision with the bridge. The Coast Guard also revealed that at least four other ships decided against sailing that morning because of the foggy conditions.
The ship’s pilot captain has already pleaded not guilty in federal court to two misdemeanor violations in connection with the spill.
The Cosco Busan spilled more than 53,000 gallons of toxic oil into the bay, stained miles of Bay Area and ocean shoreline and killed at least 2,500 birds.
See: Cosco Busan faulted for sailing in heavy fog, San Francisco Chronicle
A new report on the San Francisco Oil Spill response officially released today, won’t surprise most folks. The Coast Guard is roundly criticized for it’s incredibly slow communication the first day of the spill when it took nearly 10 hours to let people know that copius amounts of oil spilled from the Cosco Busan container ship.
The report documents how government agencies failed to get the word out after the ship hit the Bay Bridge at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 7. First reports had the size of the spill at 140 gallons. It wasn’t until almost 5 p.m. that the Coast Guard figured out the spill was 58,000 gallons.
Also the report said the actual amount that spilled into the bay was 53,569 gallons. A total of 44 percent was recovered: 36 percent off the water and another 8 percent along the shoreline.
Many of the communication problems were hampered by language barriers. Coast Guard investigators had a hard time communicating with the Chinese-speaking crew. They had to resort to drawing pictures to find out what happened during the ship’s collision with the San Francisco Bay Bridge.
Another disturbing item in the report: some of the Coast Guard officers in charge of the spill response had little understanding of oil spill response and were unfamiliar with the geography of the Bay Area.
At least 2,500 birds died in the spill. Over 400 were cleaned of oil and released back into the wild. IBRRC working with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) helped rehabilitate the birds, mostly scaups, grebes and scoters.
Download the 137 page report (1.6 MB PDF): Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR) M/V Cosco Busan Oil Spill in San Francisco Bay (Acrobat Reader required)
Also see the San Francisco Chronicle online report
And the Carl Nolte followup story: Errors, praise listed in spill report