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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Command KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 6
source LMIU
type D
volume Y
material
dead
link

While bunkering in San Francisco Bay developed a crack in her hull which resulted in a small oil spill 24 Sep 1998 Spill contained with booms same day Investigation under way Sailed 26 Sep Operators fined.


source USCG
type A
volume 5000G
material
dead
link

On September 28, 1998, a USCG overflight had identified an oil slick approximately 10 nm offshore San Francisco Bay northwest of Point San Pedro. The mystery slick (later identified as the result of a faulty fuel transfer aboard the T/V Command) contained streamers of black oil, mousse, and sheens.


source NOAA
type L
volume 3000G
material
dead
link http://www.darp.noaa.gov/southwest/command/index.html


source California, Dept of Fish and Game
type A
volume 3000G
material
dead
link

The oil tanker Command departed San Franciso bound for Panama, where repairs were needed for a damaged tank. It began discharging an estimated 3,000 gallons of Intermediate Bunker Fuel over the side of the vessel. The spilled oil was traced to the vessel, which was apprended by the USCG off the coast of Guatamala.

The trustees settled the NRDA portion of the case for $3.9 million.


source ETC
type D
volume 51000G
material
dead
link

The defendants admitted the following:

The fuel tank of the Command was damaged during a trip to Central America in Sep 1998. After some repairs were made. the Command traveled to Ecuador where it took on a cargo of crude oil bound for the Tosco Refinery at the Richmond Long Wharf in San Francisco Bay. The ship arrived in San Francisco on 22 September and discharged its oil. On 24 September 1998, as the ship was being refueled for its next voyage, oil begain to leak into the Bay from a crack in the damaged tank. Refueling was stopped and the USCG was notified. After inspecting the Command, the USCG directed that repairs be made before the ship could leave port.

In order to get the ship repaired as quickly as possible, and after consulting with representatives of Anax [the tanker owner], the captain Dimitrios Georgantas, ordered that all fuel be removed from the damaged tank, and placed into all other available tanks. Those tanks all were quickly filled, however, and more than 200 tonnes of fuel remained in the damaged tank. The captain directed that the remaining fuel from the damaged tank be transferred to a clean slop tank, and the temporary repairs were made. After a USCG inspection, the ship was permitted to sail with an order of the captain of the port that it not use the damaged tank until more permanent repairs were made.

During the evening of 26 September 1998, the ship left San Francisco, heading south toward Ecuador. Once the ship set sail, the captain ordered a crew member to transfer the fuel from the slop tank into the temporarily repaired starboard fuel tank, in violation of the USCG orders. The re-transfer procedure procedure required constructing an on-deck bypass system using hoses and a powerful pump. During the transfer operation, one of the hoses came unfastened and oil rapidly begain spilling onto the deck of the ship and into the Pacific Ocean. When the Captain was told of the spill, he failed to notify the USCG as required by law. Accroding to the Anax plea agreement, the captain also instructed the crew memebers to deny that spillhad occurred.


source CTX
type
volume 3000G
material
dead
link

Etkin, 2003 Oil Spill Conference puts this spill at 51,500 gallons of No 6 fuel.

This set of confused and confusing reports is typical of the USA, and in stark contrast to the UK and Australian reports. LMIU and California points to a hull crack, USCG points to some kind of transfer problem. For now saying hull crack, then transfer screw up. Obviously, the spill took place outside the Bay, not in as LMIU says. As usual USCG does not really seem to care about cause. USCG calls 5000 gallon estimate "rough approximation". The ETC estimate of 51,000 gallons seems quite unlikely. The only pump that could have been used is an air driver Wilden with a max capacity of 5 tons (abt 1500 gallons) per hour. If a hose became unconnected, somebody should have noticed it right away. Quite unlikely they had no one watching the transfer, but even if they did not, it would take 34 hours to pump 51,000 gallons.

Going with Ca estimate for now.