Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien Spills Fuel Into San Francisco Bay at Fisherman’s Wharf
BY MIKE SCHULER ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2014
SS Jeremiah O’Brien at San Francisco’s pier 45. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
The U.S. Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel continued Sunday to respond to a fuel oil spill from the SS Jeremiah O’Brien near Pier 45 at Fishman’s Wharf in the San Francisco Bay Saturday.
The U.S. Coast Guard was alerted Saturday morning that an undetermined amount of fuel oil was discharged into the water from the World War II-era Liberty Ship. First responders reported a 100-by-150-yard sheen in the vicinity of the vessel at Pier 45.
The SS Jeremiah O’Brien immediately contracted an Oil Spill Response Organization and as of Sunday over 6,000 feet of boom was deployed around the vessel and other at-risk or environmentally sensitive areas. Meanwhile cleanup crews used vacuum trucks and skimming vessels as part of the recovery efforts.
The Coast Guard reports that the source of the spill has been secured. A initial statement from the Coast Guard said that the spill reportedly occurred during an internal transfer of product onboard the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, but the incident is still under investigation.
An overflight of the area Sunday found no visible signs pollution, but the Coast Guard said a response team located a light sheen around the docks within Hyde Street Harbor.
The Coast Guard said Sunday that it federalized the pollution incident and assumed control of the clean up and containment processes to ensure maximum resources are utilized to accelerate the containment and cleanup effort. The oil spill response is being overseen by a Federal On-scene Coordinator’s Representative.
“The Coast Guard is committed to safeguarding the marine environment and has taken quick action to intervene and minimize the effects of the fuel spill caused by the SS Jeremiah O’Brien,” said Capt. Michael Day, Sector San Francisco deputy commander. “Our crews will work diligently alongside our partner agencies to ensure the fuel is cleaned from the water in an efficient and expeditious manner.”
The SS Jeremiah O’Brien is one of two remaining fully functional Liberty ships built and launched during World War II. The ship now serves as a tourist attraction at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
A visit from a cousin.
Cousin Christine is down visiting us ‘southern’ folk. Crikey she’s been one of those folk to avoid of late and now she’s turned up to ‘visit’ and staying at the towers for the foreseeable. All very disagreeable. It wasn’t always like that though. When we were all ‘ickle’ and lived nearby each other in Gravesend, we got along wonderfully. The best of mates regardless of gender or age. Aaahhh, waves of happy nostalgia are washing over allatsea as he writes.
Then little by little and one by one we started to grow up and apart. This is normal. Yours truly wandered off to be a sailor, bother allatsea also wandered off to be sailor (albeit with that part time lot in the Andrew) and Christine it seems, wandered off and took a profession that, erm, shall we say, catered for sailors. Catering for sailors as in hanging round the docks and keeping them ‘company’. Very often for quite ‘short times’ they say. Well, see no evil and speak no evil, each to his own and, frankly, thank god there are ladies like Christine.
Faversham Creek from the quay, Christine’s first dalliance with a sailor was here. It lasted three minutes.
That said, as the years went by, Christine honed her skills and being a bonny looking if foul mouthed kind of bird, ‘moved up the ladder’. A comfortable home, a doting if rather errant chap in tow and a move North followed. And there it might have stayed, a gentle and happy life for her and her bloke. Then as this shite thing called life is wont to do when you think all is swimming along nicely, it all went tits up. Her chap became ill with cancer and died pretty much soon after he was diagnosed. Christine, for all her apparent hardness and resolve took it all rather badly and turned to drink and cheap thrills. Dalliances with terminal arseholes, neer do wells, general scum, even at one point, going with a trade unionist (the shame, the shame) brought her to poverty and homelessness. With no children to offer her a place to stay she took to visiting her long lost cousins. At the towers, we were (readers, our family was large, there are dozens of cousins) about half way along the visiting list, hence our recent ‘arrival’. Reports from previous ‘recipients’ of her visitations have not been glowing in their praise or enthusiastic of the experience. We at the towers were reather hoping that we’d get ‘left’ off the list. No such luck.
So, she’s here. All long legs, prominent tum, a wobbly chest and endless tales of woe. It can put a chap off his breakfast there’s no doubt about that. And his lunch.
What to do folks, what to do?