The U.S.’s National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the probable cause of the Overseas Reymar allision with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in January 2013 was the pilot’s decision to alter course without sufficient time to avoid the bridge’s tower, and the master’s failure to oversee the pilot by engaging in a phone conversation during a critical point in the transit.
“Although the pilot serves as the waterway expert, the master is the vessel expert,” the NTSB reported. The two phone calls from his company that the captain answered “should have been postponed until the vessel entered a less demanding phase. The master was unable to assist and oversee the pilot effectively. Consequently, he was not in a position to recognize that the vessel was no longer on a safe course.”
The 752-foot tanker hit the fendering system of the tower. No one was injured and no pollution was reported. Damage to the vessel was estimated at $220,000, and the cost to repair the tower was estimated at $1.4 million.
To read the full report, click here.