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  #1  
Old 11-18-2007, 08:48 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
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SF Bay Oil Spill

Ho - hum. Another minor oil spill. A supertanker could've spilled more than 1,000 times that amount. Stop yer *****in', all you San Francisco liberals.

I'm waiting for the Limbaughs of our world to run down all the people whining about the oil spill we had here recently. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's happened before and things eventually got back to what looked like normal.

Only problem, as global trade continues to increase, this sort of thing will be more likely to happen. Murphy's law: what can go wrong, will go wrong. Over time, the life sustaining ability of the planet declines, or rather continues to decline.

But hey, check out those low prices for Chinese and Korean made consmer goods!

Two bits in the Chron on this that made some good points, the first a letter:

A little precaution

Editor - I'm just a weekend San Francisco Bay sailor, but I have two handheld GPS units operating whenever I sail on the bay. Investment: about $500. Why two? In case one breaks at the "wrong" time. Both have stored in them the coordinates of the center of every bridge span in the bay along with other useful waypoints. Both are accurate within feet. Do I need them in good weather? No. I use them in good weather just to be sure I am familiar with them and can rely on them if I get into fog or darkness. Am I too careful? Perhaps for a casual sailor, but certainly not for a bar pilot.

With just this simple equipment, equipment that would fit in his jacket pockets, pilot John Cota would not have had to rely on the captain of the Cosco Busan pointing to something on an unfamiliar screen. If Cota's story is that the radar quit and he was unfamiliar with the alternate aids, and if that is an acceptable situation for a bar pilot to be in, something is drastically wrong with the bar pilots.

I think it is time for the bar pilots to provide the public with a description of what a competent pilot does to prepare for the situation Cota describes so that it can make rational decisions about what is required to preclude a repeat of this incident.

MIKE CARNALL Point Richmond


Cosco Busan spill a wake-up call
David Gordon,Walter Parker, SF Chron

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The past 12 days were bad for the environment. We saw two oil spills, one on our shores and the other across the globe in Russia's Black Sea. Both were preventable and both will leave communities with oil-blackened shores and dying wildlife.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Cosco Busan will live on as a symbol of environmental catastrophe. Yet the Cosco Busan is only the latest in a series of shipping accidents plaguing our trade routes.

The Selendang Ayu broke in half in 2004, spilling 330,000 gallons of oil in the Aleutian Islands and Alaskan Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The New Carissa broke up in 1999, spilling 70,000 gallons of fuel along the Oregon coast. The San Francisco Bay Area, the Oregon Coast and the Aleutian Islands are all part of the Great Circle Route that ships transit between the West Coast and Asia. More than 7,000 ships per year travel the route - almost 20 per day - and the number is growing. Yet the safety measures are not in place to protect the North Pacific Ocean from accidents such as the rupturing of the Cosco Busan.

As globalization and trade with Asia grows, so do the number of cargo ships, and consequently, so does the risk. Accidents happen, as the Cosco Busan, swiping the Bay Bridge in heavy fog, demonstrated.

While it is important to understand the causes of the Cosco Busan accident and the slow response to contain the oil, it is even more vital to take measures to stop future spills.

Could the accident have been prevented? Should the U.S. Coast Guard, through its Vessel Monitoring System, have the authority to direct a ship's course much as air traffic controllers direct the courses of airliners? Should cargo ships use less polluting fuel as an alternative to bunker fuel? Should cargo ships be constructed with double hulls, as are new oil tankers? Should mandatory weather limits prevent cargo ship movements in heavy fog? Should powerful tugs escort each cargo ship and tanker in and out of San Francisco Bay?

Could the response have been more effective? Should the Coast Guard have acted more quickly to take over response from the private firm hired by the ship owners? Containment boom, if it had been placed immediately around the ship after the accident, would have prevented oil from spreading throughout the bay. Would this have been done if the response had not been outsourced to a private company such as Marine Spill Response Corporation?

Should the Coast Guard have done more in the first hours to mobilize all the oil spill response equipment around the Bay Area? Some people think that the ship owners can pay compensation for the damages to our fisheries, wildlife and coastlines. They should.

But let us not fool ourselves. Eighteen years after the Exxon Valdez spill, civil penalties remain stuck in the courts. Exxon just appealed the latest $2.5 billion judgment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, more than 6,000 of the original plaintiffs have died.

Three years after the Selendang Ayu spill in Alaska, the federal government and the state of Alaska are launching a comprehensive risk assessment to make recommendations for improved shipping safety in the Aleutian Islands. The government is finally taking this step, thanks to the effective work of the Shipping Safety Partnership - a coalition of environmental and indigenous groups, fishermen, businesses and municipalities - and politicians who understand the public's interest in safe shipping.

After the Exxon Valdez spill, the state of Alaska created an independent Oil Spill Commission. The commission issued 52 recommendations, 50 of which were enshrined in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which greatly strengthened oil spill prevention for tankers. Unfortunately for San Francisco Bay and our Pacific beaches, that act primarily addresses oil tankers, not cargo ships like the Cosco Busan.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other California leaders should take a page from our friends in Alaska. It is time to strengthen our shipping safety regulations to prevent another Cosco Busan in the future. Cargo ships can carry 40 times the amount of fuel reported to have spilled in this incident - the next spill could be much larger. It is time to take this issue far more seriously than we have so far.

An independent commission would be an important first step to help answer the many questions that remain. Implementing the safety recommendations from such a commission will help make sure that we never have to suffer a repeat of the tragedy of the Cosco Busan.


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Old 11-18-2007, 09:43 PM
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Liberal's?? do you know why my family is *****in about this oil spill????

It because we cant take our boat out to sea So we have to fish and pray that we catch something at a boring lake
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:47 PM
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That's certainly an acceptable reason to be upset about the spill IMO.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:33 AM
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Looks like folks are having a hard time giving a *****, CMAC. Is it because SF is a port city and accidents come with the territory. or what?

Nearest thing to that event that happened around here was when a ship on the Mississippi River lost power while underway and drifted into a shopping mall. Nobody much gave a ***** about that one, either.

The one that everybody will care about is when a string of fuel or fertilizer barges loses power or is deliberately rammed into the Old River Flood Control Structure.

Here's the USACE's official description: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pao/bro/misstrib.htm

And here's the "rest of the story": http://www.tulane.edu/~bfleury/envirobio/enviroweb/FloodControl.htm
http://users.stlcc.edu/jangert/oldriver/oldriver.html

B
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2007, 12:28 AM
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I'm not surprised that people don't give a ****. We've grown to accept the fact that we humanoids have more or less decided that life w/o the regular traffic of toxic substances is just not worth living.

The facts are pretty obvious to me. The ability of the planet to support life is diminishing. It will continue to diminish as human numbers increase and our willingness to use any and all toxic substances that give us a temporary advantage continues. These fantasies of finding another planet to live on are beyond belief. What utter crap. Ain't going to happen. And until we learn how to be prosperous w/o trashing this one, what's the point anyway? We'd trash that one sooner than later.

This incident has poked some serious holes in the presumed first rate effectiveness of the Coast Guard. The flat-footed nature of the response to this is shocking. This is exactly the kind of crap that is likely to happen with the sort of large ship traffic in this bay and a rapid deployment of booms could have nipped a lot of this in the bud.

Didn't happen.

All this anxiety about Dubai buying one of our ports, or part of one anyway, check it out folks, we've already ceded major parts of the sovereignty of our ports to Chinese ship crews. We used to have tugs escort ships in and out of harbor. Too expensive, I reckon.
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Last edited by cmac2012; 11-20-2007 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Looks like folks are having a hard time giving a *****, CMAC. Is it because SF is a port city and accidents come with the territory. or what?

Nearest thing to that event that happened around here was when a ship on the Mississippi River lost power while underway and drifted into a shopping mall. Nobody much gave a ***** about that one, either.

The one that everybody will care about is when a string of fuel or fertilizer barges loses power or is deliberately rammed into the Old River Flood Control Structure.

Here's the USACE's official description: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pao/bro/misstrib.htm

And here's the "rest of the story": http://www.tulane.edu/~bfleury/envirobio/enviroweb/FloodControl.htm
http://users.stlcc.edu/jangert/oldriver/oldriver.html

B
They got shopping malls on the Mississippi?
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by LaRondo View Post
They got shopping malls on the Mississippi?
I knew something sounded familiar about the incidents -- both were Cosco ships.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9401EFDB1F3EF93BA25751C1A960958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2007, 03:05 PM
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The Coast Guards' instruments said they were off course but they didn't want to disturb the pilot during the delicate maneuvers, or some nonsense like that.

As the letter writer pointed out, where in the hell was hand-held GPS as a backup?
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:01 PM
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Save The Penguins !!!

An iceberg in tha Antarctic ?? Who would have thunk it ???

No mention of this in the national media.......

Wotta surprise...

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/780

Rumor has it that this tub carried 40000 gallons of petro. Now leaking in the pristine Antarctic waters.

God save us from the do-gooders.
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2007, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
As the letter writer pointed out, where in the hell was hand-held GPS as a backup?
It was eliminated on the ship's budget as it was a non essential piece of hardware.
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2007, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
The Coast Guards' instruments said they were off course but they didn't want to disturb the pilot during the delicate maneuvers, or some nonsense like that.

As the letter writer pointed out, where in the hell was hand-held GPS as a backup?
You do not need any GPS to navigate between bridge posts - RADAR paints a perfect picture. GPS is good for course work, RADAR and visual is for close work. GPS tells you where the antenna is located, not the rest of the boat. RADAR indicates locations of everything else other than you, in relation to you. Most RADARS sweep 20-40 times per minute, providing that many updates per minute. Along with tracking of other vessels and your track. Maritime law says that if a vessel has RADAR, it must be used when running. Most vesels this size usually have two or three radar sets.
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:07 PM
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GPS can be 8-12 seconds between positions. Let's say the ship is traveling at 10 mph ...52,800 ft/hr = 52,800/3,600sec = 528/36 = 132/9 or about 14 ft/sec.

Now let's say we have an 8 sec delay = 80 ft. What's the stopping distance and turning radius of a tanker?

B

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