Update (Monday, Sept. 9, 2019): Contact Made with Missing Crew Members -Breaking
(Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019): The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple agencies are responding after car carrier became disabled and capsized with a fire on board Sunday morning in St. Simons Sound, Brunswick, Georgia.
A search is underway for four missing people.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it was notified at approximately 2 a.m. 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.
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.
Currently, 20 people have been safely removed and four people remain unaccounted for.
#Update Evacuations of the Golden Ray’s crew continue. All vessel traffic in the Port of Brunswick is currently suspended unless approved by the @USCG Captain of the Port. #HappeningNow pic.twitter.com/F7JbdGCShU
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) September 8, 2019
The vessel’s master and chief engineer are assisting authorities and salvage teams to develop plans to stabilize the vessel and continue rescue efforts, the Coast Guard reported.
Coast Guard units involved in the response include:
- Two Coast Guard Station Brunswick Response Boat crews
- Two Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
- Coast Guard Cutter Heron launched to assist
- Coast Guard Sector Charleston
- Marine Safety Unit Savannah
- Coast Guard Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT) launched to assist
The Port of Brunswick Captain of the Port (COTP) has established an emergency safety zone in St. Simons Sound. Vessels are not authorized 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.