Four rescued after car carrier capsizes at Port of Brunswick, Georgia, US
The US Coast Guard and multiple agencies responded after car carrier became disabled and capsized with a fire on board on Sunday morning, 8 September 2019, in St Simons Sound, Brunswick, Georgia. A search was underway for four missing people. The US Coast Guard said it was notified at approximately 2h00 on Sunday that the 656-foot vehicle carrier Golden Ray was disabled and listing heavily with a fire on board in the St Simons Sound. The ship had a total of 24 people on board, including 23 crew members and 1 pilot. Rescuers pulled all four crew members to safety on Monday, 9 September 2019.
Three South Koreans were plucked from a room in the hull near the ship’s propeller, said Coast Guard Lt Lloyd Heflin, who’s coordinating the rescue. Crews later saved the fourth man in the vessel's control room at the back end of the ship, the Coast Guard tweeted.
All four are reportedly in good condition and were taken to a hospital for examinations. The rescues capped a day of hope when it was learned the four were alive.
Rescue efforts were frustrated on Sunday because of a fire on the unstable boat, Petty Officer Luke Clayton said. Monday, the ship was stabilised and the fire doused. A helicopter landed on the side of the ship and a rescue team was back at work, Clayton said.
"They were able to drill a small hole in the hull," Clayton told USA Today. "They located all four of the missing crew members."
The Coast Guard reported on Twitter that it and other agencies had multiple rescue assets on scene and were in process of evacuating crew members from the vessel. By the end of Sunday, 20 people had been safely removed and four people remained unaccounted for.
The vessel’s master and chief engineer were assisting authorities and salvage teams to develop plans to stabilise the vessel and continue rescue efforts, the Coast Guard reported.
Coast Guard units involved in the response include:
The Port of Brunswick Captain of the Port (COTP) has established an emergency safety zone in St Simons Sound. Vessels are not authorised within ,5 miles of the overturned ship.
The Port of Brunswick is the second busiest roll-on/roll-off port in the United States and the number one for new auto imports. Port of Brunswick is comprised of three deepwater terminals owned by Georgia Ports Authority, including two directly operated by the GPA.
AIS ship tracking data shows the Marshall Islands-flagged Golden Ray was outbound from the port when it became disabled. The ship has a destination of Baltimore.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
Also assisting in the response are the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Moran Towing, SeaTow, Brunswick Bar Pilots Association and the Glynn County Fire Department.
Source: G Captain and USA Today