Tanker scrapes Bay Area channel

December 19, 2008 5:21:11 PM PST
A tanker carrying about 272,500 barrels of diesel fuel grazed the bottom of Pinole Shoal Channel in the San Pablo Bay off the coast of Rodeo this morning, but the U.S. Coast Guard hasn't found any signs of pollution, according to a petty officer.

The Coast Guard got a report that the 577-foot tanker, that set off from Martinez, lightly scraped the bottom of the channel around 5 a.m., Petty Officer Pamela Manns said.

"It's what we call, 'ran soft aground', which means it grazed the bottom of the channel" Manns said. "It was soft enough, but people were able to feel it happen onboard."

Coast Guard crews escorted the vessel to its destination and docked it while a helicopter made sure it was not leaking fuel.

Onboard investigators were also making sure the vessel was safe and not taking on any water.

No one was injured and the incident doesn't appear to have caused any damage, Manns said.