In this image provided by the Coast Guard, damage is seen to the tanker Overseas Reymar following a collision with tower six of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. The empty oil tanker ship struck the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Monday, but there were no reports of leaking oil and the bridge remained open to traffic, officials said. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela J. Boehland)
The California Board of Pilot Commissioners has started investigating the pilot of an empty tanker ship that sideswiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
The San Francisco Chronicle says the state agency voted Thursday to conduct a probe, which is expected to take about 90 days.
The U.S. Coast Guard is also conducting an investigation of the accident with assistance from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The bar pilot in command of the tanker that hit the Bay Bridge appears to have one of the worst records of his fellow bar pilots
Prior to the Jan. 7 collision with the Bay Bridge fender system, bar pilot Guy Kleese had three other reportable incidents.
Even without the current incident, the seven year veteran appears to have racked up the second worse percentage of incidents and the worst percentage among long time pilots.
The incident is getting a very close look by Board of Pilot Commissioners, the state agency that licensed him.
“They are working with the Coast Guard and other agencies to compile all the information and make sure they have a full picture before any recommendations are made to the Board,” said Traci Ruth, Bar Pilot Commission spokeswoman.
An analysis of 15 pilots' records unearthed by theSan Francisco Examiner showed that nine pilots, most with far more experience than Kleese have had only one reportable incident.
Two have had two incidents each, two have each had three incidents, one pilot seven incidents, but over a 24-year career and one with eight incidents over a four decade career.
All of them have state approved licenses.
“The program is very rigorous and it is by state and federal law,” Ruth said and the Commission makes sure that everything is followed.
Sources said that many of the incidents are minor in nature. Others are moderately serious such as groundings, but far from the seriousness of the Cosco Busan and Overseas Reymar.
There was more than $2 million damage to the tower's wooden fenders and the side of the ship was scraped. No oil was spilled and there were no injuries.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.