SAN FRANCISCO – An empty oil tanker, the Overseas Reymar, struck the San Francisco Bay Bridge yesterday morning while being piloted by a member of the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association. The 750-foot tanker sustained damage to its hull, but it was above the waterline and thought to be relatively minor. The bridge was judged by CalTran to be structurally sound, while sustaining some damage to a fender structure designed for such an incident, and traffic was never halted on the bridge.
However, questions remain about what caused the incident. Visibility at the time was roughly a half mile, Coast Guard officials say, and they report that the pilot, whose name has not yet been released but who has been a member of the Pilots Association since 2005, was questioned on board the tanker and will be tested for drugs and alcohol. No environmental hazard is currently posed, the Coast Guard said, and no injuries were sustained by any crew members. The Pilots Association will also conduct its own investigation, spokesman Charlie Goodyear told the AP.
For footage of the damage, the vessel, and investigators trying to figure everything out, you can watch the following raw footage, via YouTube member Jonathan Bord: