Coast Guard crews and port partners respond to a disabled cargo vessel with a fire on board in St. Simons Sound, Georgia.
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Coast Guard crews and port partners respond to a disabled cargo vessel with a fire on board in St. Simons Sound, Georgia.

Four crewmembers aboard a disabled cargo vessel are still missing after a cargo ship capsized in the St. Simons Sound Sunday morning. Coast Guard officials called the search a "complex situation" and said it is too risky to go inside the ship. The search will resume once the vessel is stabilized. 

 

So far 20 people have been removed from the vessel and four people remain unaccounted for on the 656 foot M/V GOLDEN RAY. The vessel is listing heavily in the St. Simons Sound.

At approximately 2 a.m., the Coast Guard was notified by the Glynn County 911 dispatch that the ship had capsized in the St. Simons Sound. The Coast Guard immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of multiple Coast Guard assets.

The vessel’s master and chief engineer are assisting authorities and salvage teams to develop plans to stabilize the vessel and continue rescue efforts. The GOLDEN RAY's crew size is 24 people; 23 crewmembers and one pilot.

Several Coast Guard units are involved in the response including those from Brunswick and Savannah.The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Glynn County Fire Department are also assisting in the operation. 

The Georgia DNR is monitoring coastal environmental conditions and preparing to deploy spill containment booms around the ship even though no active leaks have been detected. The Coastal Resources Division of DNR will collect water samples to ensure the safety of shellfish beds and beaches where people swim. Updates from DNR can be found on their website.

The Port of Brunswick has established an emergency safety zone in St. Simons Sound. Vessels are not authorized within a half-mile of the ship which is laid over on its side.

There were 4.200 vehicles aboard the ship when it capsized.The cause of the incident is under investigation.