An incident in which a man fell to his death from a container ship near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge this morning has been classified as “a serious marine incident,” according to a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Jeremy Pichette said “appropriate substance testing has been initiated” for people who were on board the Ever Elite at the time of the fatal incident, which occurred about 5:10 a.m. today.

The Ever Elite is a 900-foot vessel that was traveling inbound to the Oakland Outer Harbor, Pichette said.

The incident occurred underneath the western span of the Bay Bridge between Yerba Buena Island and San Francisco, he said.

The Coast Guard launched a 25-foot-long response boat and the pilot vessel Golden Gate and three nearby tugboats also responded, Pichette said.

The pilot vessel found the man 2 feet underwater. He was not wearing a life vest, Pichette said.

The man was taken to Pier 39 in San Francisco because that was the closest land, Pichette said. The man was pronounced dead there.

A spokesman for the San Francisco medical examiner’s office said the man’s identity hasn’t been confirmed.

Pichette said the American Bureau of Shipping, a non-profit industry group based in Houston that is dedicated to promoting safety, is helping the Coast Guard investigate the incident.

Port of Oakland spokesman Robert Bernardo said the incident occurred while the container ship was maneuvering into the Oakland Outer Harbor, where it apparently was going to unload its cargo.

Bernardo said the ship is managed by Evergreen Marine Ltd., which is based in London.

Officials from Evergreen and its American affiliate weren’t available for comment today.
Pichette said the Ever Elite is currently docked at Booth 35 at the Oakland Outer Harbor. He said he doesn’t know when the ship will leave.

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