‘Smooth travel’ observed before ship capsized off Georgia

Local News

Rescuers work near the stern of the vessel Golden Ray as it lays on its side near the Moran tug boat Dorothy Moran, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Jekyll Island, Ga. Coast Guard rescuers have made contact with four South Korean crew members trapped inside the massive cargo ship off the coast of Georgia. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A tugboat captain who helped a cargo ship leave a Georgia seaport shortly before it overturned along the coast says he saw only smooth sailing before the big vessel capsized.

Clifton Gorden told federal investigators at a hearing Monday he kept a close eye on the Golden Ray as it left the Port of Brunswick a year ago and observed no swaying or other problems.

Rachel, left, and Sarah Mitchell look at their phones as they sun bathe on Jekyll Island’s Driftwood Beach as the Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized in the background, off the Georgia coast, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Terry Dickson)

The U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board are trying to determine what caused the South Korean-owned ship to overturn with more than 4,200 vehicles in its cargo decks.

All crew members were rescued, but the ship remains partly submerged on its side.

Hearings began last week and are scheduled to conclude Tuesday.

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