The 752 foot tanker Overseas Reymar that struck one of the footings of San Francisco's Bay Bridge was piloted by a sailor who has a record of serious incidents.
In two of three previous incidents the pilot was found to be at fault.
The ship that struck the footing is part of the Marshall Islands open registry which is one of the largest open open registries along with Liberia and Panama. These registries allow foreign owned ships to operate under the maritime rules of the host country. This arrangement has roots in Flags of Convenience and is controversial since training and certification often falls below international standards. Foreign registries also allow abusive labor practices since ownership of vessels is often obscured with complicated ownership schemes meant to reduce regulatory and tax burdens.