- A cargo vessel carrying several thousand new cars capsized on Sunday off the coast of Georgia, and four crew members are missing.
- According to Reuters, Hyundai and Kia vehicles were the cargo on board; the Korea Herald said the vehicles were headed to the Middle East for export and that some were Kia Motors cars while others were from "other global carmakers."
- The Coast Guard is continuing rescue efforts today.
UPDATE 9/9/19, 11:55 a.m.: The Associated Press is reporting that the Coast Guard has located and contacted the four missing crew members in the capsized Golden Ray cargo ship. Coast Guard rescuers drilled a hole through the ship's hull, through which they are talking to the crew who are "on board and OK" according to the news report. They are now figuring out how to get the four crew members out safely.
A massive cargo ship potentially carrying over 4000 new vehicles capsized in Saint Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick in Georgia early Sunday morning.
View of the capsized ship. Georgia Department of Natural Resources
The M/V Golden Ray is a vehicle cargo vessel that local news reports say was carrying 4200 vehicles as it left the harbor on its way to Baltimore. Reuters is reporting that they were Hyundai and Kia vehicles; we have reached out to the automaker, which is preparing a statement.
For reasons not yet understood, the ship turned and fell on its port side before making it to the open ocean. There were 24 people on board when it fell sideways into the water: 23 crew members and one pilot. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 20 of the crew members before rescuers noticed a fire with black smoke coming out of the cargo hold and decided it was too dangerous to attempt further efforts. Four people remain unaccounted for. As of Sunday afternoon, there was no active release of pollution, the Coast Guard said, but it and other agencies are monitoring the situation. The question of the ship's stability is an ongoing investigation, according to the Coast Guard.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Automakers have dealt with the loss of an entire ship's worth of vehicles before. In 2006, as C/D reported, a cargo ship called the Cougar Ace capsized when it was near Alaska on a journey from Asia to North America with $103 million worth of brand-new Mazdas on board. The 23-member crew needed to be rescued, and all 4703 cars were eventually crushed.
The Golden Ray was built in 2017 and was sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands. It has the capacity to carry 6933 vehicles and is owned by GL NV24 Shipping and operated by Hyundai Glovis. Both companies are based in Seoul, South Korea. Rescue efforts are ongoing.