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Cali Living by CBHine - the captain who drove into the bridge

Posted Wednesday, April 23, 2008, at 3:55 PM

I just love Ken Shocknek: He writes the following concerning the Captain who piloted the fuel tanker in to the Bay Bridge.

Hey, if you need to put bread on the table, and you pretty-much only know one profession, nobody should blame you for trying to keep doing it. But maybe some of the people who are in charge of deciding whether it's safe for you to do it, might want to wake up long enough to see if it's really a good idea.

To wit: Captain John Cota was the guy piloting that fuel tanker that crashed into the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Now we learn from federal investigators that he:

1) had been convicted of driving under the influence back in the '90's.

2) had been diagnosed as an alcoholic.

3) took drugs to help deal with his sleeping problems.

4) took so many drugs they probably interacted with each other to further make him see pixies and serpents in the mist.

5) took more drugs to fight depression, migraines, and vision problems.

6) didn't understand the charts, laid out by the tanker's Master (the traditional captain, at sea: remember, Cota was the harbor pilot who went on board as ships get ready to dock).

...Other than that, he was fine. OK, so all this is good enough. And by 'good,' I mean 'bad.' He never should have been piloting. But my question is: wouldn't you think all this would be enough to convince the Feds (either the Coast Guard, or the National Transportation Safety Board, or somebody) to demand he call it quits for a while? but noooooooooo: the Guard waited until weeks after the crash to ask Cota to voluntarily turn in his pilot's license. Oh good. "Say John, if it's not too much trouble, we were kinda, you know, wondering if you wouldn't mind staying on dry land for just a teensy little while....?" Good Lord.

Now they're considering federal charges against him? Who do we get to charge the people who knew about his various conditions before he stepped onto the bridge of the tanker? How do those people sleep at night?

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Cali Living by CBHine
Cindy Hine
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