Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region

HSC Best Maritime Practices


The container ship Cosco Busan allided with the Oakland Bay Bridge on November 7th 2007, releasing approximately 53,000 gallons of fuel oil. Shortly afterward, Governor Schwarzenegger issued a directive to investigate and make recommendations on the navigational and operational aspects of the Cosco Busan allision. The HSC was assigned this task by OSPR. HSC Work Groups discussed the issues at length, developing recommendations to improve vessel transit in the Bay. The findings and recommendations developed by the Harbor Safety Committee in light of the allision covered a number of topics, some of which are included in the Harbor Safety Plan.

Prior to the Cosco Busan incident, OSPR had directed the five Harbor Safety Committees in California to adopt Best Maritime Practices for each harbor to ensure that vessels in transit will be aware of the guidelines of operation in California harbors, to be incorporated into each Harbor Safety Plan. During 2008 and early 2009, the S.F. Harbor Safety Committee developed a number of Best Maritime Practices (BMP) for safe navigation in the San Francisco Bay Region; subsequently, other BMP have been added. These guidelines, files for download listed below, provide important information necessary for safe, reliable and environmentally sound vessel movements in and around San Francisco Bay.



Anchorage 9 Berth Layout Information Sheet
Communication Procedures to Improve Safety During Bunker Barge Transfer Operations Alongside Container Vessels
Dead Ship Tows in San Francisco Bay
Emergency Offshore Towing
Emergency Training for Tug Escorting
Ferries Recommended Guidelines for Navigating in Reduced Visibility and Severe Weather
Large Vessels and Tugs with Tows greater than 1600 Gross Tons
Passenger Ferry Traffic Routing Protocol
SF Bar Pilots Use of Portable Navigation Units
Tugs with Tows less than 1600 Gross Tons
Union Pacific Rail Road Bridge Communications Protocol