M/V Cosco Busan after it struck the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

NTSB Meets Wednesday on Cosco Busan Report

The National Transportation Safety Board will meet Wednesday in its Washington, D.C., conference center to consider the agency's Marine Accident Report on the Nov. 7, 2007, incident where the Hong Kong-registered, 901-foot container ship M/V Cosco Busan struck the base of a tower holding up the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge while being navigated in thick fog by an experienced pilot. The impact left a 220-foot-long gash in the side of the ship and caused more than 53,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil to spill from its fuel tanks, fouling 26 miles of San Francisco Bay shoreline and killing more than 2,000 birds.

The hearing will be available via a live webcast from www.ntsb.gov. More than 100 reports and documents about the incident are available on the board's site.

NTSB held an investigative hearing in April 2008, with NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker saying then, "This accident presents the board with many questions, such as if the Cosco Busan's bridge navigation equipment working properly? Was there adequate oversight of the San Francisco bar pilot? Did the Coast Guard's Vessel Traffic Service exert the appropriate level of control over the Cosco Busan?"

The California Department of Fish and Game's Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR) Final Report is available here, and two animations showing the ship's course that morning are available at this site.

The ISPR document, which was Part II of that report, says the spill response represented "an exceptional safety record" because only one minor injury was reported during thousands of hours of response operations. The Part II report recommended spending more on research and development of spill response, cleanup, and assessment technologies; conducting drills using those technologies; and developing a clearinghouse to share information about oil spill R&D at national, international, and industry levels as it becomes available.

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