wave.jpgAn oil tanker that struck a Bay Bridge tower on Monday has been deemed safe to sail and is expected to leave the Bay later this morning, U.S. Coast Guard officials said today.

The Overseas Reymar, a 752-foot vessel that struck the eastern-most tower of the western span of the bridge around 11:20 a.m. Monday, has been anchored east of Alcatraz Island all week while investigators interviewed crew members, collected evidence and made a safety inspection.

Coast Guard inspectors determined the ship is safe to sail and it was expected to depart from the Bay at 10 a.m. with a tug escort. The tanker will still require repairs before returning to service, Coast Guard officials said.

No oil spill was found as a result of the boat striking the bridge tower. Damage was reported to 30 to 40 feet of the bridge tower fender, but there was no other damage to the bridge, according to Caltrans officials.

The Coast Guard’s investigation into the incident will continue with the assistance of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Capt. Cyndi Stowe, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, on Thursday also called on the Harbor Safety Committee of the San Francisco Bay Region to consider a review of so-called critical maneuvering areas with a particular focus on the Bay Bridge.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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