H-BAY AREA

Feb 14, 2013 6:25 PM by The Associated Press

New rules limit large ships in fog near Bay Bridge

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Oil tankers and other large vessels will be restricted from sailing beneath the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in dense fog under new rules passed by shipping officials.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the San Francisco Bay Harbor Safety Committee passed the new guidelines Thursday.

The move comes five weeks after an empty oil tanker sideswiped one of the span's towers, and five years after the 901-foot cargo vessel Cosco Busan hit a bridge tower and spilled 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the bay.

Both collisions occurred in foggy conditions with visibility of roughly a quarter mile.

Under the new rules, ships larger than 1,600 gross tons are restricted from sailing under the bridge when visibility is less than half a mile.

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