SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard said on Friday it was investigating an early morning spill of bunker fuel from a refueling line between the tanker Dubai Star and a barge alongside it in San Francisco Bay.
Coast Guard Lt. Simone Mausz told Reuters the tanker's crew had spotted a leak in a line and reported it, prompting the Coast Guard to dispatch three boats, a helicopter and a response team to the two vessels, which had been transferring fuel in an anchorage south of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Mausz said it remained unclear if the refueling line belonged to the tanker or the barge.
While local media reported the slick from the fuel spill stretching an estimated 1 mile, Mausz said investigators had yet to determine how much fuel had been spilled. But she said it did not appear to be of the scale of the Cosco Busan's fuel spill into the bay in November 2007.
Friday's spill came eight days ahead of the two-year anniversary of the vessel Cosco Busan striking the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in dense fog.
The collision ripped open the Cosco Busan's hull and the ship spilled 53,000 gallons (220,000 liters) of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay, fouling 26 miles of shoreline along the iconic California waterway.
A spokesman for Heidmar Inc, which operates the Dubai Star within a group of tankers, said the Norwalk, Connecticut-headquartered company was in the process of gathering details of the spill and was preparing a statement.
(Reporting by Jim Christie and Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Marguerita Choy)