Cargo Ship ‘Listing Heavily’ in Georgia Port, Crew Members Missing: Officials

September 8, 2019 Updated: September 9, 2019

At least four crew members were reported missing after a cargo ship flipped at a port in Georgia, officials said on Sept. 8.

The Coast Guard’s Seventh District said on Twitter that it was involved in a rescue mission after the Golden Ray cargo vessel started “listing heavily” near the St. Simons Sound.

“The crew of the vessel is being evacuated at this time,” the agency wrote.

According to Action News Jax, four crew members are unaccounted for.

The ship was leaving Brunswick when it began leaning to one side in the early morning hours, Fox News reported.

“Watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of multiple Coast Guard assets,” the Coast Guard said, according to the report.

“We’re not sure exactly what occurred,” Justin Irwin, commander of Coast Guard Station Brunswick, was quoted by the Brunswick News as saying. He added that it’s not clear what caused the ship to lean.

“We’re not sure exactly what occurred,” Irwin added. “One of the Ro Ros coming in overturned and is sitting on its side. Obviously, it is a stability thing.”

A witness told the paper that the outgoing Golden Ray passed another ship.

“They were getting ready to pass each other, but it didn’t work out that way,” said a local man. “The incoming ship was able to pass and continue its journey to the port.

The ship, a carrier of vehicles, was built in 2017 and sails under the Marshall Islands flag, says. It’s not clear who owns it.

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) says the Port of Brunswick a deepwater port in Georgia. “The port’s well-earned reputation for productivity and efficiency is heightened by its position as one of the fastest-growing auto and heavy machinery ports in North America,” the GPA’s website says. “Today, more than 12 major auto manufacturers, supported by three auto processors, utilize the Colonel’s Island Terminal.”

Other details about the incident are unclear.