A 752-foot oil tanker ship that was sailing in the fog hit a tower of the Bay Bridge on Monday morning, fortunately without any oil spillage but raising alarming new questions about safety of oil tankers in San Francisco Bay.
The collided oil tanker vessel, Overseas Reymar, based in the Marshall Islands, had unloaded its oil at the Shell refinery in Martinez only few hours before it grazed the "Echo Tower" of the Bay Bridge at 11:18 am, among Yerba Buena Island and San Francisco. Even though, it was carrying many thousands of gallons of bunker fuel, local authorities informed it appeared none of that spilled.
"We're still observing the situation," told US Coast Guard Petty Officer Barry Bena. "But as of right now, reports from the main pilot, the Coast Guard and local agencies show no pollution has hit the water."
The captain of the tanker vessel was identified as Guy Kleess, 61-years-old, of San Francisco, a former Exxon oil tanker captain that has been embroiled in at least 3 other shipping incidents since 2009.
The accident secured a stark reminder of a similar Bay Bridge collision 5 years ago, when the Cosco Busan, a 901-foot-long cargo vessel, hit the adjacent tower of the Bay Bridge, spilling 53,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel into the bay, fouling sixty-nine miles of shoreline and killing thousands of birds.