ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, CMA CGM and other local industry partners tested the Bay Area's capability to tow ultra-large container ships during an exercise Wednesday.

The vessel used for the exercise was CMA CGM’s Centaurus, an 11,400-TEU, 1,200' container ship.

The purpose of the towing demonstration was to test the capability of existing tug assets within San Francisco Bay to connect to and tow an ultra-large container ship.

This exercise marked the first such attempt in the U.S. The demonstration was intended as a learning experience conducted within the confines of the Bay to enhance preparedness for emergency towing operations either in the Bay or in the approaches to San Francisco.

“The Coast Guard is excited to be a part of this groundbreaking demonstration,” said Capt. Gregory Stump, commander of Sector San Francisco and Captain of the Port of San Francisco. “This is a prime example of the forward-leaning posture of the San Francisco Bay Area Harbor Safety Committee and a testament to the commitment of our maritime community to safety and environmental protection.”

"There will be many important lessons learned from this exercise," said Coast Guard Cmdr. Jason Tama with the 11th Coast Guard District prevention division. "It was a great example of the Coast Guard, Harbor Safety Committee, and maritime industry working together to ensure we are ready to respond to an incident involving an ultra large container vessel."

Marc Bourdon, president of CMA CGM America, said that the drilling exercise "illustrated CMA CGM’s strong commitment to safety and security.”