Cosco Busan Pilot Blames Coast Guard For Oil Spill

The San Francisco Chronicle reportsthat:

Lawyers for Capt. John Cota, pilot of the freighter Cosco Busan, claim that the Coast Guard shares responsibility for the accident that caused a huge oil spill in San Francisco Bay last fall.

In a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board obtained by The Chronicle, Cota’s attorneys say the veteran ship pilot will refuse to testify at a NTSB hearing scheduled for next week.

Cota will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. He is facing criminal negligence charges as a result of the Nov. 7 accident, when the Cosco Busan crashed into one of the Bay Bridge towers, spilling more than 50,000 gallons of fuel oil that fouled beaches and killed more than 2,000 birds.

The lawyers claim that the spill was the Coast Guard’s fault because they should have warned him about the fog and they should have been more clear in telling him that he appeared to be on a collision course with the bridge.

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