Coscu Busan pilot surrenders license to Coast Guard

The pilot of the Cosco Busan voluntarily turned in his federal merchant marine officers license today, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

Capt. John Cota was piloting the 900-foot container ship in dense fog early the morning of Nov. 7 when it struck the fendering system of a Bay Bridge tower, opening a gash in theship's side and spilling 58,000 gallons

of oil into San Francisco Bay.

Coast Guard officials requested he give up the license because they believe Cota is not physically competent to maintain the federal license.

“Upon review of Cota's federal license files following the (Cosco Busan) incident the Coast Guard discovered competency issues which cause concern about his ability to safely serve under his federal license,” a statement from the Coast Guard read.

The administrative procedure requesting Cota surrender the federal license is used “where there is evidence of mental or physical incompetence,” according to the Coast Guard.

The license can be returned if the Coast Guard is satisfied Cota is “fit for full duty without qualification.”

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