Ship pilot in Bay Bridge hit facing license loss

  • FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2013 file photo provided by the Coast Guard, damage is seen at the base of tower six of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge following a collision by the tanker Overseas Reymar. A state panel is recommending that the pilot of an empty oil tanker that sideswiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge have his license suspended or revoked. The recommendation is contained in a report released Thursday April 4, 2013 by the California Board of Pilot Commissioners Incident Review Committee. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela J. Boehland, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — The pilot of an oil tanker that side-swiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in January should have his license revoked or suspended, a state panel recommended on Thursday.

The finding about pilot Guy Kleess was contained in a report from a committee of the California Board of Pilot Commissioners about the mishap involving the 752-foot Overseas Reymar.

The committee said the board should find for pilot error in the Jan. 7 bridge strike, saying Kleess failed to effectively communicate with the crew and became complacent.

"Capt. Kleess lost awareness of what was happening around him and how information, events and his own actions impacted his objectives," the report said.

The board was expected to take up the committee recommendations later on Thursday. A message left at Kleess's home was not immediately returned.

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