This is a timeline of the Cosco Busan spill. It shows how fast things happen after an oil spill – and why acting quickly is important. The Nov. 7, 2007 spill put 53,569 gallons of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay.
Here are the first 90 minutes:
8:30 a.m.: Harbor pilot Capt. John Cota, guiding the 900-foot Cosco Busan out of port, notifies vessel traffic service that the ship “touched” a Bay Bridge pier.
8:37: Spill first reported by president of Bar Pilots Association; details scant.
8:54: Cota calls U.S. Coast Guard, reports ship discharging fuel.
8:55: New pilot boards Cosco Busan, replacing Cota.
9 a.m.: Deadline under state law for ship’s crew to place four phone calls reporting spill.
9:03: Coast Guard vessel under way to the ship carrying its own spill investigator.
9:05: First cleanup contractor learns of accident from a third party.
9:10: Contractor dispatches first two cleanup vessels; San Francisco Fire Department calls Coast Guard to offer aid, is turned away.
9:15: Cosco Busan crew makes first required phone call about spill, to its owner-representative.
9:17: Replacement pilot calls second cleanup contractor, leaves message.
9:18: Second contractor calls back, is told spill is about 400 gallons.
9:23: Pilot reports ship is no longer leaking fuel.
9:30: First contractor on scene. Reports heavy fog but finds no oil.
9:35: Contractor smells oil and reports “heavy sheen” on water.
9:42: State Office of Emergency Services notified of spill by ship’s owner-representative.
9:45: State oil spill expert arrives at Yerba Buena Island command center, begins three-hour wait to board Cosco Busan.
9:50: Coast Guard pollution investigator boards Cosco Busan.
10 a.m.: Contractor gets approval to begin skimming oil.
Source: U.S. Coast Guard Incident Specific Preparedness Review committee report, Jan. 11.
– From the Sacramento Bee