Unstable Loads Led to Capsize of Golden Ray
PORT OF BRUNSWICK, GA- Georgiarecorder.com writes that last year, the Golden Ray capsized after leaving from Georgia's Port of Brunswick. An investigation into the incident led to evidence suggesting that the ship may have been loaded improperly, leaving is less stable on the water. A US Coast Guard lieutenant stated in a hearing this week that the Golden Ray was loaded with a top-heavy and unstable load.*
A naval architect stated that the accident may have been prevented had the load been rearranged or if another 1,500 gallons of water had been used in the ballast tank to serve as a counterweight.
The ship, a 656 foot-long cargo vessel, was carrying over 4,000 Kias and Hyundai, which were heading from Georgia to Baltimore. Even one year after the accident, the ship is still overturned, and hundreds of cars remain on board, long will tens of thousands of gallons of oil.
On the day of the accident, the crew was attempting to turn the vessel. An open door could have also contributed to the problem, but the load appears to be the main issue that caused the operators to lose control as the massive ship began to overturn.
The 24 crew members all survived. The captain of the ship stated that he anticipated a successful trip through the St. Simons Sound, which many other cargo ships use on a regular basis to transport goods.
In the near future, officials are looking to divide the ship into eight sections and to use barges to haul them away one section at a time.
It is likely that the process will be one of the most costly ship disasters ever in the United States. There are also environmental concerns about the possibility of the massive amount of oil on board leaking into the water.
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