Bay Area storms hinder navigation, leave vessels adrift

(ALAMEDA, Calif.) – The U.S. Coast Guard responded to multiple maritime-related incidents this week after storms crossed the San Francisco Bay Area and left vessels, docks and barges adrift, causing navigational safety issues.

All potential navigational hazards were mitigated through federal, state, local and commercial partnerships.

Three 60-foot deck barges went adrift, causing an allision with the Third Street Bridge at McCovey Cove leading to Mission Creek. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco’s Prevention Department was made aware of the situation and broadcasted a notice to mariners, noting that the area was closed to navigation.

A final assessment of the bridge is pending the completion of an inspection by engineers. Coast Guard responders observed no evidence of pollution, and the barges were secured with the assistance of tugboats.

Station San Francisco, Coast Guard cutter Hawksbill, an 87-foot Marine Protector-class patrol boat, and an Oakland marine unit responded to several adrift docks with vessels moored to them in the Oakland Estuary area. All docks and vessels were then safely secured.

U.S. Coast Guard photo

Coast Guard Station Golden Gate responded to multiple adrift vessels in Richardson’s Bay, Sausalito, and the Tiburon area. All vessels were secured and people were assisted.

Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Services maintains communications with San Francisco bar pilots to ensure the continued safe movements of commercial vessels.

Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco conducted an overflight of the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers to better understand maritime safety for the main ship channels.

The Coast Guard will continue to monitor situations across the San Francisco Bay Area and respond as needed.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller