The Coast Guard announced Wednesday that at least one navigational aid on the Bay Bridge was not working when the tanker Overseas Reymar clipped one of the span's support towers Monday morning.
After the accident, the Coast Guard examined the various items designed to help mariners navigate San Francisco Bay to see if they were working properly. Authorities discovered two radar transponders on the bridge were out and issued a warning to boaters.
KTVU obtained a U.S. Coast Guard notice that went to mariners telling them that "Racon Y" and "Racon B" on the span are currently not operating.
San Francisco attorney Rex Clack, the lawyer for Captain Guy Kleess, said it remains premature to pin Monday's accident on his client.
"None of the government investigators has pointed fingers at any specific source as a cause," Clack said in statement released Wednesday night.
Clack also pointed to a host of potential factors, including faulty navigational devices.
"The Coast Guard investigators will consider the status of all the aids in the area," said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Dan Dewell.
Some of those aids are operated by the Coast Guard, while those on the bridge itself are operated by Caltrans.
The question authorities need to answer is whether the navigational devices were working as Kleess tried to take the tanker out to sea in the fog Monday morning.
"We will include all of those in our investigation and try to figure out if the status of those had any bearing on this incident," said Dewell.
In the meantime, repairs to the Bay Bridge's damaged fender system are set to begin soon.
The state will pay for the repairs which are now estimated at $2.3 million and then try to recoup the cost from the ship's owner.
On Wednesday, the investigation into the cause of the accident entered a new phase with National Transportation Safety Board personel examining the vessel and interviewing the crew.
KTVU has learned bar pilot Kleess will not be dispatched to any jobs pending the outcome of the investigation by the State Board Of Pilot Commissioners which is set to make a report in 90 days.
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.
Santa Claus is visiting the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s new adoption center on three dates in December, giving local residents an opportunity to have their pets pose for a holiday keepsake photo.