More information has surfaced in the Cosco Busan’s collision with the San Francisco Bay Bridge and the subsequent spilling of 58,000 gallons. The latest investigation involves the ship pilot who has revealed he was under medication for sleep apnea, a disorder that causes a person’s breathing to become impaired leading to bouts of sleepiness.
John Cota, 59 was taking the drug Provigil that in some cases “may impair your judgment, thinking, or motor skills.” The warnings continue: “You should not drive a car or operate hazardous machinery until you know how this medication affects you.”
Cota was helping guidie the Cosco Busan out of San Francisco Bay when it side-swiped the bridge in dense fog on November 7, 2007. The bunker fuel that spilled from the 900-foot Hong Kong flagged container ship killed at least 2,500 birds and closed beaches and shoreline for weeks.
See AP story: Pilot’s sleep disorder investigated in SF oil spill