SS Jacob Luckenbach Oil Spill

State TrusteeState of California
Federal TrusteeDepartment of Commerce
AO Bureau

Also Known As

Incident Type




Case Status



Pacific Ocean offshore San Francisco, Gulf of the Farallones, Pacific Ocean



Contaminants of Concern Include


Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds, Threatened and Endangered Species, Marine Mammals

Case Description

On July 14, 1953, the freighter S.S. Jacob Luckenbach collided with another vessel and sank in the Gulf of the Farallones. As it decayed on the ocean floor, it leaked oil and became the source of many oil spills, primarily during large winter storms when currents rocked the vessel. Major oiling events have occurred every few winters since at least 1973-74. It was not until January 2002 that these mystery spills were linked to the Luckenbach. These spills manifested themselves in the appearance of oiled seabirds on beaches from Bodega Bay to Monterey Bay. Oil chemistry analysis has confirmed the presence of Luckenbach oil on dead birds for every winter since 1992-93 (the earliest date for which samples are available).

Credit: California Dept of Fish and Wildlife

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 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 Factsheet 2010 Trustee Council News Update 03/01/2010
 Factsheet 2011 Trustee Council News Update 01/01/2011
 Factsheet 2012 Trustee Council News Update 01/01/2012
 Factsheet 2013 Trustee Council News Update 01/01/2013
 Factsheet 2014 Trustee Council News Update 01/01/2014
 Factsheet 2015 Trustee Council News Update 01/01/2015
 Factsheet 2016 Trustee Council News Update 01/01/2016


 Restoration Monitoring Report 2010 Common Murre Restoration Report 11/01/2011
 Assessment Plan Amendments to the DARP 08/16/2010
 Restoration Plan Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan  
 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan 11/01/2006


 Claim 1st Partial Claim Determination 09/29/2008
 Claim 2nd Partial Claim Determination 01/04/2010
 Claim 3rd Partial Claim Determination 07/06/2010
 Claim FWS Acceptance of Claim Determination 12/14/2015


 Study Report Seabird Injuries 07/01/2003
 Study Report Seabird Mortality 04/08/2006

No publications have been entered for this case.

Map View

Case Contact

San Francisco Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife

Sacramento, CA | (916) 930-5603 |

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