Oil spill cleanup efforts resume in Bay

Cleanup efforts resumed this morning at the site of an oil spill in the San Francisco Bay, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard is estimating between 400 and 800 gallons of oil spilled into the Bay Friday morning, after a mechanical failure during a fueling operation, according to Lt. j.g. Jeremy Pichette.

The Coast Guard and other agencies resumed cleanup early this morning, Pichette said. While skimming and booming operations are under way, monitors on the shore will be surveying water and beach areas for signs of oil. Additional aerial assessments will also help spot remaining oil.

The Coast Guard reported at 7 a.m. that no wildlife has been affected so far. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network is assisting with search and reconnaissance today. Anyone who spots an affected animal should call (877) 823-6926 and not attempt to rescue the animal.

The spill was first reported at about 6:45 a.m. Friday from the Dubai Star, a Panamanian-flagged tanker carrying oil and other chemicals. The vessel was anchored about two miles south of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The vessel's transfer system equipment had a mechanical failure while conducting bunkering operations with a fuel barge, according to the Coast Guard. The resulting oil sheen was estimated to be about 2 miles long and about 200 yards wide.

Officials are reminding the public that Friday's spill is much smaller than the disastrous Cosco Busan spill of 2007. That 53,000 gallon spill caused about $70 million in damages to beaches, wildlife and the fishing injury.

The California Department of Fish and Game has suspended fishing and shellfish harvesting in the surrounding areas until further notice. The precautionary suspension affects the Alameda County shoreline between the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. However the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment advises the public to avoid fishing anywhere that has a visible sheen.

The OEHHA also warns against consuming any fish or shellfish from the spill area until the water can be analyzed.

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