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Pilot suspended 5 months after Bay Bridge struck

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July 1, 2013 11:33 PM EST | AP

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SAN FRANCISCO — State officials on Monday suspended the license of a pilot for five months after an oil tanker sideswiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Guy Kleess won't be paid during the suspension ordered by the Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun.

The cargo ship Overseas Reymar clipped the bridge on Jan. 7, causing about $3 million in damage. The bridge never closed and remained open to traffic.

Kleess will have to undergo further training and 30 "observation trips" before his license is restored. He will also be on two years of probation after he regains his license.

"The board has imposed one of the most stringent disciplinary orders in decades," board director Allen Garfinkle said.

It was the second time in six years that a large vessel controlled by a local pilot struck the bridge.

The cargo ship Cosco Busan operated by Capt. John Cota struck the bridge in November 2007, prompting a 53,000-gallon oil spill into San Francisco Bay. Cota was sentenced to 10 months in prison.