Crew trapped as ship carrying 4,200 vehicles overturns in Georgia port, officials say

A cargo ship carrying 4,200 vehicles overturned in Georgia, trapping crew members inside, officials say.

The ship, the Golden Ray, was going out of the Port of Brunswick when it overturned at about 2 a.m. Sunday near the St. Simons Pier, the Brunswick News reported.

The ship’s crew was evacuated, but four members are still trapped inside the overturned 656-foot, 71,000 ton freight vessel, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the Coast Guard is working to rescue them.

The other 20 crew members are safe, officials said in a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Officials say it’s too risky now to go into the vessel to rescue the four but, as soon as it’s determined safe, rescue efforts will continue.

Earlier there was fire and smoke coming off the right side of the ship, officials said. It has since gone out but officials say they will need to get inside the ship before determining if it’s completely extinguished.

All traffic in the port is suspended “unless approved” by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, the U.S. Coast Guard Southeast tweeted, and “multiple rescue assets” are on the scene.

There is no “active release of pollution” into the water from the ship, officials said in the press conference, but the Georgia DNR has an “emergency spill response crew” stationed nearby and the Coast Guard has “spill containment booms” ready, the department said.

The Georgia DNR is “monitoring coastal environmental conditions” following the accident, it said.

It’s unclear if weather had anything to do with the incident or if there were any injuries, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson told Fox 5 Atlanta.

The reason the ship capsized and other details about the incident are being investigated and have not been released, officials said.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.