Pilot Who Sailed Into Bay Bridge Seeks Return To Ships

Cosco Busan Bay pilot wants back on the water.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The man who piloted the Cosco Busan into the Bay Bridge in 2007 wants a return to the waters, according to his attorneys.

    Ahoy -- Captain John Cota wants back on the Bay.

    The man who piloted the Cosco Busan container ship into one of the Bay Bridge towers is seeking a return of his license to pilot boats on San Francisco Bay, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

    Cota, 64, of Petaluma, served time in jail following the November 2007 crash, which spilled over 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the bay. He was convicted of polluting the Bay and lost his mariner's license after he pleaded guilty to being impaired by prescription drugs and going too fast in heavy fog.

    He attempted to get the Coast Guard to reinstate his license earlier this year, according to Bay Area News Group, but was turned down in February. He is now considering filing a lawsuit to get a court to help reinstate his license, the newspaper reported.

    Cota worked as a bar pilot since 1981, the newspaper reported. Bar pilots earn $451,000 a year.

    The National Transportation Safety Board reported in 2008 that Cota had a drunken driving conviction, a history of alcohol abuse and prescriptions for at least nine medications, including Valium; Vicodin; Zoloft for depression; Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug; Provigil for sleep disorders; Imitrex for migraines, and Darvon for pain, the newspaper reported.

    That said, his attorneys declared Cota "a healthy man" and said that he'd be back at the wheel of some kind of ship, eventually.

    In 2008, the National Transportation Safety Board reported that Cota had a drunken driving conviction, a history of alcohol abuse and prescriptions for at least nine medications, including Valium; Vicodin; Zoloft for depression; Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug; Provigil for sleep disorders; Imitrex for migraines, and Darvon for pain.