The US Coast Guard and port partners are searching for four crewmembers aboard a disabled cargo vessel with a fire on board Sunday morning in St. Simons Sound, Brunswick, Georgia.
Currently, 20 people have been safely removed and four people remain unaccounted for on the M/V GOLDEN RAY, a 656-foot vehicle carrier. The vessel is listing heavily in the St. Simons Sound.
At approximately 2 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Charleston watchstanders were notified by the Glynn County 911 dispatch that the M/V GOLDEN RAY had capsized in the St. Simons Sound. The watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of multiple Coast Guard assets.
Photo right: Coast Guard crews and port partners respond to a disabled cargo vessel with a fire on board September 8, 2019, in St. Simons Sound, Georgia. (Image courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
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 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 launched to assist
- Coast Guard Sector Charleston
- Coast Guard 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 M/V 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.