Oil spill pilot surrenders license to lawyer

The Coast Guard has given the pilot who was at the helm of the ship that rammed a Bay Bridge support tower extra time to hand over his federal license.

The Coast Guard had asked Capt. John Cota to voluntarily surrender the license by Tuesday, but after receiving a request for an extension, the agency is giving him more time.

As condition of the extension, a lawyer for Cota is holding the license with the agreement that Cota will not sail on the basis of that license. That means Cota cannot serve in any other roles on the big ships, such as master or engineer.

The Nov. 7 incident caused the ship to spill 58,000 gallons of fuel into San Francisco Bay. Several investigations are under way.

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