Rear Admiral Craig E. Bone is not one to back down from criticism, his comments regarding questions we posed to the San Francisco Chronicle were strong and to the point. Perhaps it’s for this reason Admiral Thad Allen, a straight talker himself, appointed him to the high profile position early this summer. Taking a proactive stance to defense, Admiral Bone today responded to NJ.com’s criticism of the USCG’s response to the San Francisco Oil Spill with the following comments;
Your Nov. 16 editorial about the recent oil spill in San Francisco questioning the U. S. Coast Guard’s readiness did not mention several important facts and contained several misperceptions.
The motor vessel Cosco Busan’s striking of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco Bay and spilling 58,000 gallons of fuel was an avoidable disaster. The Coast Guard and NTSB are working to determine what went so tragically wrong on this modern ship with advanced equipment, and under the guidance and direction of a state licensed pilot and the command of a licensed master.
Ultimately the motor vessel Cosco Busan master is responsible for the safe operation of the vessel. Thousands of commercial oceangoing ships navigate safely in fog worldwide and in much more restricted waterways. The question for our investigators and the National Transportation Safety Board is why didn’t this one?
The response to the oil spill here was anything but weak and slow as your editorial asserted. Within 15 minutes Coast Guard pollution investigators were directed to the scene and they arrived through heavy fog 28 minutes later. Continue Reading—>
Member’s of the San Francisco Pilot Association have also expressed their views. In a release by the Associated Press, SF Pilot Eric Robinson Comments;
“An international standardization of bridge equipment like radars and electronic navigation equipment — to me, that would be the legislation I would like to see come out of this,” Robinson said during an interview as he set a course for Hawaii.
“I’ve seen at least a dozen different electronic charts and dozens of radar displays,” Robinson said. “Bridge markings, buoy markings, depth contour curves, what measurements the depths are in, whether they’re in fathoms, feet or meters — basically every aspect of the chart other than the outlay of the land could be different.”
Some pilots, frustrated by the varying systems, have begun carrying their own laptops loaded with familiar charting software onto the ships, he said. The laptops can be plugged into the ship’s navigation equipment.
This article is a must read for all mariners and can be found here: “Oil Spill Fuels Debate in Ship Industry”
Cosco Busan Reading List:
- Cosco Busan Arrested
- Cosco Busan getting giant steel Band-Aid
- Oil Spill Fuels Debate in Ship Industry
- SF ship pilots group reviewing practices
- Ex-San Francisco USCG commander retires
- Crews start work to remove damaged fender on Bay Bridge