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Cosco Busan Pilot Sues Coast Guard Over License

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The Cosco Busan appears with a large gash on its side after colliding with a Bay Bridge tower in 2007. (CBS)

The Cosco Busan appears with a large gash on its side after colliding with a Bay Bridge tower in 2007. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – The cargo ship pilot who caused a massive San Francisco Bay oil spill is making another attempt to regain his mariner’s license.

65-year-old John Cota has filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard violated his civil rights by denying his request to renew his merchant marine license.

Cota was piloting the Cosco Busan ship in heavy fog on Nov. 7, 2007 when it sideswiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and spilled more than 50,000 gallons of oil into the bay.

He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of illegally discharging oil in the bay after the Coast Guard concluded he was impaired by prescription drugs and failed to follow safety precautions before the crash.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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