M/V Cape Mohican/San Francisco Drydock Bunker Fuel Oil Spill

State TrusteeState of California
Federal TrusteeDepartment of Commerce
AO Bureau

Also Known As

Incident Type




Case Status



San Francisco Bay



Contaminants of Concern Include


Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds, Marine Mammals, Threatened and Endangered Species, Anadromous Fish, DOI Managed Lands, Recreational Use Loss

Financial Summary

Restoration Funds Collected:


*Restoration Funds Allocated:


*Restoration Funds Remaining:

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Case Description

On October 28, 1996, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the SS Cape Mohican, a 725-foot Maritime Administration vessel, discharged an estimated 96,000 gallons of Intermediate Fuel Oil 180, a heavy bunker fuel oil, into a floating dry dock (Drydock #2) during routine maintenance at the San Francisco Drydock Shipyard. Approximately 40,000 gallons of fuel escaped from Drydock #2 and spilled into the Bay at Pier 70. The oil spill is believed to have occurred when an opened valve discharged stored fuel during the transfer of oil from a stabilization tank.

At the time of the discharge, the wind was blowing at 14 knots from the south-southwest; shortly after the discharge, the wind speed increased to 25-knot gusts and it began to rain heavily. Dispersed by an early-season storm, the discharged oil spread through portions of the Bay. Oil spread from Pier 70 south to offshore of Hunter’s Point and north into the central Bay to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, making landfall at Alcatraz, Yerba Buena, Treasure, and Angel islands. The Tiburon Peninsula and San Francisco waterfront were also oiled. The oil traveled outside the Golden Gate, oiling beaches as far north as Drakes Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore and as far south as Pillar Point.

Credit: California Dept of Fish and Wildlife

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Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 MOA/MOU Trustees Agreement 04/10/1998


 Study Report Distribution of Sensitive Wildlife 01/10/1997


 Consent Decree Consent Decree 09/15/1998


 Restoration Implementation Report 2004 Workshop Record 04/29/2004
 Restoration Monitoring Report 2005-06 Biannual Report 05/01/2006
 Restoration Monitoring Report 2007 Annual Report 01/01/2007
 Restoration Monitoring Report 2008 Annual Report 01/01/2008
 Restoration Monitoring Report 2009 Annual Report 01/01/2009
 Restoration Monitoring Report 2010 Herring Toxicity Monitoring Report 12/31/2010
 Restoration Monitoring Report 2011 Annual Report 01/01/2011
 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Restoration Plan 03/21/2002

Map View

Case Contact

San Francisco Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife

Sacramento, CA | (916) 930-5603 | http://www.fws.gov/sfbaydelta/

Case Trustees

AO Bureau
Federal TrusteeDepartment of Commerce
State TrusteeState of California

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