Cosco Busan owners pay $80M to leave 

Today's departure of the Cosco Busan container ship, which caused a major San Francisco Bay oil spill when it struck a tower of the Bay Bridge Nov. 7, came only after the owners posted nearly $80 million for a surety bond, the California Department of Fish and Game said.

The $79.5 million bond was posted with the U.S. government early this week and represents the value of the vessel, according to the Department of Fish and Game. It does not, however, put a cap of the damages that may be recovered for the impacts of the spill.

"Our investigation into the incident continues and will not be impeded by the vessel leaving the area," said Fish and Game Acting Director John McCamman. "While there is no basis for the sate to retain the ship, we have the full support of Gov. Schwarzenegger in determining the cause of this tragic incident and holding the responsible party accountable for the short- and long-term damages to the wildlife and habitat resources impacted by the spill."

The Cosco Busan met the state law that requires vessels to have a $300 million insurance policy. Additionally, claims for damages regarding oil spills in California may be made directly to the responsible party's

representatives without the need for formal litigation, according to Fish and Game.

The ship today had departed for Korea after receiving repairs to its damaged hull.

  Bay City News

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