BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Marine salvage experts seeking to remove an overturned cargo ship close to Georgia’s seacoast say they will haul it away in pieces because it cannot be safely righted and refloated intact.
Their Unified Command said in a statement Saturday that the hull of the 656-foot (200-meter) Golden Ray would be dismantled, along with the ship’s other components and cargo and taken away in what it described as a “complex situation.” The Golden Ray overturned Sept. 8 near the Port of Brunswick. Rescuers drilled into the hull’s steel plates and rescued four crewmen trapped in the bowels of the ship more than a day in scorching heat and darkness.
The Coast Guard has said it would take “weeks, if not months” to remove the ship, which overturned while heading to sea.
September 9, 2019
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – A cargo ship that capsized over the weekend near St. Simons Island could have a major impact on the environment and residents nearby.
The main focus has been on rescue efforts, but on Monday, the final four missing crew members were recovered.
Now, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) says they will shift focus on protecting the environment and removing the ship from the St. Simons Sound.
Officials say the ship will remain in its current position until the level of pollution in the water around the vessel can be fully examined.
The Port of Brunswick has also been shut down because of the incident
“There remains a lot of work to do,” said USCG Capt. John Reed in a Monday afternoon press conference. “Threats to the environment, hazards to people and to the economy through the Port of Brunswick continued to be addressed through a unified command.”
Meanwhile, swimming advisories have been put into place on the beaches of St. Simons and Jekyll islands.
Officials also say the boat ramp at the Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick is closed until further notice for USCG use.