Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Castillo’

Remembering the Cosco Busan Oil Spill Three Years Later – Turns Out That Everybody was to Blame

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Has it been only three years since the Cosco Busan, the leakiest 2001 Hyundai ever, spilled 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel* into the bay? Seems longer.

Anyway, turns out that a dude who supposed to be up front looking out for stuff in the pea soup fog was downstairs in the galley eating breakfast. I did not know that, no sir. Of course, the idea to depart on sked despite the fog came from the bar pilot, so that’s the person who’s primarily responsible. But there still plenty of blame to go around. Deets below.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!

Click to expand

All right, it’s Blame Time:

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the following probable causes of the accident:

- the pilot’s degraded cognitive performance from his use of prescription medications, despite his completely clean post accident drug test,
- the absence of a comprehensive pre-departure master/pilot exchange and a lack of effective communication between Pilot John Cota and Master Mao Cai Sun during the accident voyage, and
- (COSCO Busan Master) Sun’s ineffective oversight of Cota’s piloting performance and the vessel’s progress.

Other contributing factors included:

- the failure of Fleet Management Ltd. to train the COSCO Busan crewmembers (which led to such acts of gross negligence as the bow lookout eating breakfast in the galley instead of being on watch) and Fleet Management’s failure to ensure that the crew understood and complied with the company’s safety management system;
- the failure of Caltrans to maintain foghorns on the bridge which were silent despite the heavy fog;
- the failure of Vessel Traffic Safety (VTS) to alert Cota and Sun that they were headed for the tower. VTS is legally required to alert a vessel if an accident appears imminent, yet they remained silent;
- the malfunctioning radar on the COSCO Busan, which led Captains Cota and Sun to use an electronic chart for the rest of the voyage. Although Coast Guard investigators found the radar to be in working order, they did not examine it until days after the accident (allowing time for faulty equipment to be fixed, which is not uncommon after a marine accident)
- Captain Sun’s incorrect identification of symbols on the electronic chart;
- the U.S. Coast Guard’s failure to provide adequate medical oversight of Cota, in view of the medical and medication information he had reported to the Coast Guard

Happy Anniversary, Cosco Busan, or should I say MSC Venezia? Don’t ever come back.

The patched-up ship finally hits the road, back in aught-seven – this was the last time we’ll ever see the Cosco Busan in the Bay Area, most likely:

*Yeah, Wiki is still wrong on that gallonage figure, partly due to the U.S. Coast Guard sitting on information for months and months ’cause they didn’t want to earn themselves any more bad press.

The U.S. Coast Guard Ships Out of the Bay Area to Help with the BP Oil Spill

Friday, June 4th, 2010

The Bay Area-based USCGC Aspen Seagoing Buoy Tender just took off for Florida to help out with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

As she looked yesterday on her way to the Panama Canal and beyond:

Click to epxand

Check the video:

SAN FRANCISCO – Lt. Cmdr. Roy Burbaker, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Aspen, discusses the oil spill response capabilities of the cutter as crewmembers prepare to deploy to the Gulf of Mexico to provide clean up and operational support for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, June 3, 2010. With a crew of 34 and seven officers, the Aspen is one of the most technologically advanced cutters in the Coast Guard fleet, capable of providing on-the-water skimming operations. The Aspen is a versatile ship that can be used for pollution response, command and control, logistics, or other roles in addition to her primary missions of maintaining aids to navigation, search and rescue, and law enforcement. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Pamela J. Manns

All the deets:

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Coast Guard Cutter Aspen, a 225-foot sea-going buoy tender homeported at Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco, deployed to the Gulf of Mexico to assist with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response today.

The Aspen is a versatile ship that can be used for pollution response, command and control, logistics, or other roles in addition to her primary missions of maintaining aids to navigation, search and rescue, and law enforcement. The cutter has the capability to deploy the skimming and oil containment equipment known as the Spilled Oil Recovery System(SORS). The cutter’s crew of 41 joins over 180 California-based Coast Guard personnel who have been assigned to Deepwater Horizon oil spill duty. Two skimming systems and 9,500 feet of boom based in California have also been sent to the region.

“The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a national disaster,” said Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo, commander of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered here. “We’re going to help in any way we can. The American people and Gulf Coast citizens deserve our strong support.”

Responding to disasters is an important Coast Guard mission. California-based Coast Guard personnel, aircraft, vessels and equipment have regularly deployed to disasters such as the Haitian earthquake, California wildfires, floods, tsunamis, and other major response and relief operations. Some 5,300 active duty and 929 reserve Coast Guard personnel are based in California.

Shore-based maintenance teams and other West Coast buoy tenders will cover the Aspen’s aids-to-navigation duties while the cutter is deployed to the Gulf of Mexico. The ship is expected to be deployed for several months.

Bon Courage.

Cosco Busan Oil Spill Endgame: Chinese-Based Fleet Management Ltd. to pay $10 Mil.

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Here’s the news from the boys and girls at Justice, below.

Patched up and riding high – the last time we saw the Cosco Busan back in 2007. Will it ever come back? She’s called the MSC Venezia these days, currently working in the Canaries.

Oh well, she’s not the first Hyundai to leak oil into San Francsico Bay, and she won’t be the last.

The full release, after the jump

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