Four missing after vehicle carrier rolls on its side off Georgia


The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — The Coast Guard and port partners are searching for four crewmembers on a disabled cargo vessel with a fire on board Sunday morning in St. Simons Sound, Brunswick, Ga.

Currently, 20 people have been safely removed and four people remain unaccounted for on M/V Golden Ray, a 656-foot vehicle carrier. The vessel is listing heavily in St. Simons Sound.

At approximately 2 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Charleston watch standers were notified by the Glynn County 911 dispatch that Golden Ray had capsized in St. Simons Sound. The watch standers immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of multiple Coast Guard assets.

The vessel’s master and chief engineer are assisting authorities and salvage teams to develop plans to stabilize the vessel and continue rescue efforts. Golden Ray's crew size is 24 people: 23 crewmembers and one pilot.

Coast Guard units involved in the response:

Two Coast Guard Station Brunswick response boat crews 
Two Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
Coast Guard cutter Heron
Coast Guard Sector Charleston
Marine Safety Unit Savannah
Coast Guard Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT)

The Port of Brunswick captain of the port (COTP) has established an emergency safety zone in St. Simons Sound. Vessels are not authorized within 0.5 miles of Golden Ray, which is laid over on its side.

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.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Click here to watch video of a Coast Guard overflight of the scene.

By Professional Mariner Staff