Price tag for Cosco Busan disaster: more than $72 million

The following is the text of an announcement by the National Transportation Safety Board:


(WASHINGTON) — The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public Board meeting on its investigation into the accident in which the Cosco Busan container ship spilled thousands of gallons of fuel oil into the San Francisco Bay after striking a bridge support tower. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. ET, in its Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W. Please note the earlier start time.

On November 7, 2007, at about 8:30 a.m. PST, the Hong Kong- registered, 901-foot-long container ship M/V Cosco Busan struck the fendering system at the base of the Delta tower of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Contact with the bridge tower created a 212-foot-long gash in the ship’s forward port side and breached two fuel tanks and a ballast tank. As a result, over 53,000 gallons of fuel oil were released into San Francisco Bay. No injuries or fatalities resulted from the accident, but the fuel spill contaminated about 26 miles of shoreline, killed more than 2,500 birds of about 50 species, temporarily closed a fishery on the bay, and delayed the start of the crab-fishing season. Total monetary damages were estimated to be $1.24 million for the ship, $1.5 million for the bridge, and more than $70 million for environmental cleanup.

A live and archived webcast of the proceedings will be available on the Board’s website at . Technical support details are available under “Board Meetings.” To report any problems, please call 703-993-3100 and ask for Webcast Technical Support.

A summary of the Board’s final report, which will include its findings, probable cause and safety recommendations, will appear on the website shortly after the conclusion of the meeting. The entire report will appear on the website several weeks later.

Directions to the NTSB Board Room: Front door located on Lower 10th Street, directly below L’Enfant Plaza. From Metro, exit L’Enfant Plaza station at 9th and D Streets escalator, walk through shopping mall, at the CVS store (on the left), and take escalator (on the right) down one level. The Board room will be to your left.

By Professional Mariner Staff