From: Reuters
Published November 10, 2007 05:53 PM

Schwarzenegger declares Bay oil spill emergency

San Francisco, California - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared the oil spill in San Francisco Bay an emergency on Friday as workers intensified clean-up efforts and part of a popular weekend race was canceled.

Schwarzenegger visited the region and pledged all possible resources for cleaning up a container ship's fuel spill after it struck the Bay Bridge in thick fog on Wednesday.

More than 200 workers and officials were cleaning up the fuel that leaked after the Cosco Busan container ship hit a base of the Bay Bridge near Treasure Island. The Coast Guard expected the clean-up force to double on Saturday.

The Coast Guard said it had found 19 dead birds and 73 living birds slicked with oil. Many beaches around San Francisco remained closed.

Organizers of a weekend triathlon in San Francisco that calls for participants to run, bike and swim canceled the water portion because of the spill.

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Swimming in San Francisco Bay, with its murky brown, chilly waters has always lured only the more intrepid. Yet officials decided the leaked fuel made the waters off-limits for its Saturday and Sunday races.

"Due to the recent 58,000-gallon oil spill into the San Francisco Bay, Tri-California Events, the United States Coast Guard, and city officials have determined that the water conditions off Treasure Island make it unsafe to proceed with the swim leg of the San Francisco Triathlon," event organizers wrote on their Web site.

About 1,500 athletes had been expected to participate in the annual event on Treasure Island, which lies halfway between San Francisco and Oakland.

(Reporting by Adam Tanner)

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