Spill response under scrutiny

As Bay Area animal-rescue teams tend to hundreds of birds and other marine wildlife, officials from Baykeeper, an environmental watchdog group, are investigating why last week’s oil spill in the San Francisco Bay was highly underestimated.

The spill occurred when a South Korea-bound vessel clipped a tower of the fog-shrouded Bay Bridge. First reported to have released 140 gallons of bunker fuel, the huge container ship responsible for the pollution is now said to have released more than 58,000 gallons.

Baykeeper is also investigating why the Coast Guard did not immediately work with the Office of Spill Prevention and Response. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported that the captain of the ship, John Cota, has a sketchy record that includes a reprimand last year for running a ship aground.