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Oil Tanker Collides with San Francisco Bay Bridge

Yesterday at 11.20am an oil tanker collided with San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The tanker, the Overseas Reymar, was damaged above the water line, and there was no breach to the hull. The day before it had unloaded 350,000 barrels of crude at Royal Dutch Shell’s Martinez refinery, and the California Emergency Management Agency was pleased to announce that no oil spilt due to the collision.

Captain Peter McIsaac, a port agent for the San Francisco Bar Pilots, stated that it was “not a direct hit, more of a glancing blow, from looking at the damage.”

Related Article: Shell's Alaska Rig Debacle - Tip of the Iceberg?

A state Transportation Department inspection team found no structural damage done to the Bay Bridge and all traffic lanes have remained open. Traci Ruth, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Department assured that, “obviously, public safety is our No. 1 priority and, if for some reason there’s an issue with the bridge, we will take corrective actions to make sure that the public is safe.”

The Overseas Reymar is not the first ship to have crashed with the Bay Bridge. Back in 2007 a container ship spilt 53,000 gallons of oil into the bay after hitting the bridge. That time the pilot was found to have a history of sleep apnea and drink driving, and was also under the influence of prescription drugs when he ran the ship into the bridge in heavy fog. The Coast Guard is still investigating the cause of yesterday’s crash.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Daren Beaudo on January 10 2013 said:
    I would like to clarify that the story is incorrect in that the tanker was not under charter to my company, ConocoPhillips, as stated in the blog. We have no relationship to the incident.

    - Daren Beaudo
    ConocoPhillips external communications and media relations

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