The companies involved in the 2007 oil spill when the 810-foot long container ship Cosco Busan crashed into the Bay Bridge have agreed to pay $44.4 million towards cleanup costs. The crash damaged the hull of the vessel and within hours, oil began leaking into the water. More than 53,000 gallons of oil spilled into the bay.
The accident was ultimately blamed on the misconduct of the pilot. On the day of the accident, visibility conditions were poor, and crews on many of the vessels decided to stay docked until visibility improved. The pilot took the container ship out to sea on its way to South Korea.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found that Cota was medically incapacitated at the time of the accident. The investigation also blames the ship’s Chinese captain, and a lack of communication between the two men for the accident.
John Cota has already served a ten-month long prison sentence, the operator of the vessel, Fleet Management Ltd has paid $10 million in fines. This new settlement of $44.4 million involves Fleet Management Ltd., and Regal Stone Ltd. which owned the vessel.