Judge won’t halt salvage of capsized ship on Georgia coast

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FILE – In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, a Moran tugboat nears the stern of the capsizing vessel Golden Ray near St. Simons Sound off the coast of Georgia. The salvage team salvage team is seeking a federal permit to surround the shipwreck with a giant mesh barrier to contain any debris when they cut the ship apart. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge says she won’t halt removal of a capsized cargo ship along the Georgia coast while a salvage company that lost the job to a competitor sues the Coast Guard.

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood denied an injunction requested by salvage firm Donjon-SMIT, ruling it’s in the public’s interest to have the shipwreck cleared as soon as possible.

The Golden Ray overturned near St. Simons Island last September with 4,200 cars in its cargo decks. 

The ship will have to be dismantled and removed in pieces.

The salvage company says the Coast Guard violated federal law by allowing the ship’s owner to replace it with a competitor willing to remove the ship in larger chunks.

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