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Pilot who struck Bay Bridge had 3 prior mishaps

  • The tanker Overseas Reymar travels in the San Francisco bay from Yerba Buena Island, Calif., Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. The empty oil tanker ship struck the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Monday, but there were no reports of leaking oil and the bridge remained open to traffic, officials said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO — The pilot of an empty oil tanker that crashed into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was involved in three previous accidents, records obtained Tuesday show.

Pilot Guy Kleess was held responsible for two of the accidents and ordered to undergo more training after a ship he was piloting damaged a dock in Stockton in 2009, according to records from the state Board of Pilot Commissioners.

The disclosure came as two federal agencies and the state board pursued investigations of the crash of the 752-foot tanker Overseas Reymar.

The U.S. Coast Guard classified the accident as a "major marine casualty" because it exceeded $500,000 in property damage. However, no oil leaks were reported and the bridge remained open. No crew members were injured.

Human error is one factor being explored by the Coast Guard as a possible cause of the crash. Visibility at the time was about a quarter-mile, but officials didn't say if that was a factor.


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