One Headline from the San Francisco Examiner Contains Three Errors.

The headline? “Oil spill captain headed for brig/Feds charge man at helm of Cosco Busan.”


So let’s see here.

1. The captain of the oil spill ship Cosco Busan was actually Mao Cai Sun. The person referred to with federal charges was the pilot, John Cota.

2. It’s far from certain John Cota will ever serve any time for his actions. Perhaps a question mark after the headline would help make it operational?

3. Finally, John Cota wasn’t “at the helm” Here’s somebody at a ship helm, in this case the mariner is behind the wheel of a Doral:


The helmsman at the time of the accident was a Chinese national, not John Cota. 

This explains it all: “Cadet Zack Townsend at the helm under the captain’s command with the pilot’s advice.” That’s how it usually works, anyway.

In another action concerning John Cota’s licensing status, things are bogging down:

“The tentative hearing date of April 28, 2008 was vacated. The ALJ ordered a new hearing date of September 2, 2008. Current estimates for the length of the hearing is 15 days. The hearing will be held for four days each week until completed as follows: September 2 – 5, 8 – 11, 15 – 18, and 22 – 25. The hearing will commence each day at 9:00 a.m. and will be held in an Office of Administrative Hearings’ courtroom in the Elihu Harris State Building, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, California.”

Anything for a fair hearing.

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