Thursday, November 08, 2007

Breaks My Heart

(Picture from

Yesterday morning, an enormous container ship heading for South Korea, began leaking what is estimated now to be 58,000 of bunker fuel when it rammed its side into one of the Bay Bridge towers. The Bay Bridge appears to be fine, but the oil from the leaking ship has now been found up and down the coast, as well as in many beaches and other coastal areas in the San Francisco Bay. Many sea birds have been found oiled or already dead; according to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, the oil reduces the ability of the birds to stay warm in the cold water and they soon become hypothermic and hungry. The OWCN also states in their press release today, that for every bird that washes ashore, "an estimated 10 to 100 birds died at sea." I haven't seen any reports on marine mammals being affected, but then again the initial report relayed by the Coast Guard from the ship's operator was that the spill was about 140 gallons instead of 58,000. Ships coming in and out of the Bay hire pilots who are familiar with the area to guide ships in and out. The Coast Guard hasn't released the full story yet. I think the full environmental impact of this is yet to be determined.

Another part of this story is that a major series of triathlons was scheduled for this weekend on Treasure Island, an island in the Bay. So far, they are still planning on doing it; although if I were competing, I wouldn't want to do the swim.

Update: Google map shows the location of some of the pictures.

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