A rescue mission is underway this evening after a cargo ship overturned near a port off the Georgia Coast. The cargo ship was having issues before it overturned and caught fire. The rescue efforts ran into trouble given the fire and stability issues of the boat. 20 of the 24 total members were safely rescued and are expected to be okay. Rescue teams that were out today were trying to stabilize the 656-foot vehicle carrier to continue their search for the missing crew, but they have been unable to determine if the fire has been extinguished.
The Coast Guard said the overturned ship has not released any pollutants into the air so far. However, they did state that mitigation responses are ready in case they’re needed.
The Golden Ray, which the Coast Guard said was transporting cars, is flagged out of the Marshall Islands and was headed to Baltimore, according to the website vesselfinder.com. The ship’s registered owner is company based out of South Korea.
The Port of Brunswick is currently closed to vessel traffic, with an established emergency safety zone in St. Simons Sound. Vessels are not authorized within a half mile of the Golden Ray.
The port is one of the busiest U.S. seaports for shipping automobiles. Nearly 614,000 vehicles and heavy machinery units moved across its docks in the 2019 fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Georgia Ports Authority.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation, and as of right now it is unclear if weather conditions played a role in the accident.