Four missing after cargo ship capsizes off Georgia coast

Screen shot: U.S. Coast Guard

Sept. 9 (UPI) — Four people were missing Sunday after a cargo ship capsized off the coast of Georgia, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The disabled M/V Golden Ray cargo vessel caught fire and capsized at about 2 a.m. in the St. Simons Sound near Brunswick, Ga., after listing heavily to one side.

Coast Guard officials said 23 crew members and a pilot were on board the vessel, and 20 had been rescued, while four remained missing.

During a press conference Sunday afternoon, Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said it was “too risky” for crews to go inside to continue searching for the missing crew due to smoke and flames coming from the ship.

“Once salvage professionals have determined the vessel to be stable, we will identify the best options to continue our rescue efforts for the four crew members who remain on board,” Reed said.

Reed said the flames and smoke have since ceased, but crews are still working to determine whether it is safe to continue rescue operations.

“We are unable to determine, specifically, without going inside, whether the fire has been completely extinguished,” he said.

Cmdr. Norm Witt, of the Marine Safety Unit, said no pollutants had been discharged into the water, but mitigation strategies were in place in case a situation arises.

Reed said the vessel capsized after attempting a starboard turn on departing the harbor.

Investigators are also working to determine what caused the ship to capsize.


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