SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— It was David and Goliath on the San Francisco Bay Wednesday as a massive Coast Guard cutter took place in a drill never-before-attempted on U.S. waters.

“It’s one of the largest container ships that are presently calling in California right now,” said Coast Guard commander Jason Tama as he looked at one of the so-called ultra containers.

The 1,200 foot cargo ships that weigh 120,000 tons and can carry 11,000 containers are being seen more commonly around the world.

Wednesday’s drill was to see exactly what it would take to tow one of these giant ships in the event that it becomes disabled in the Bay.

Tama said the tugboats involved are some of the biggest vessels on the West Coast and that they’d make their way to the container ship with tow lines.

“We’re going to test our ability to take one of these ships under tow in the event there was an emergency,” he said.

A couple of hours later the mission was accomplished.

“The tugs and the pilot and the ship did exactly what we were hoping for them to do today,” Tama said. The cutter was set to make its way to Anchorage, Alaska after the drill was complete.


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