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Two U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews were involved in the response after a 656-foot vehicle carrier vessel, Golden Ray, became disabled and started to list in the St. Simons Sound near Brunswick, Georgia, Sept. 8, 2019. The Golden Ray had 24 people on board. Twenty of the 24 people were rescued on Sept. 8, with four people still unaccounted for.
On Sept. 9, Coast Guard and salvage crews extracted the remaining four Golden Ray crewmembers in St. Simons Sound.
The crewmembers were transported by a Coast Guard Station Brunswick 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew to Glenn County EMS for further medical evaluation.
Salvage crews were transported by Coast Guard to the vessel at 8:22 a.m. to assess the vessel’s hull. At approximately 1 p.m., Sept. 9, it was confirmed the remaining four crewmembers were still alive inside the Golden Ray vessel and an extraction plan was developed to safely rescue them.
Three crewmembers were safely extracted from the vessel at approximately 3 p.m. and the fourth and final crewmember was safely extracted at 5:50 p.m.
Coast Guard units and partner agencies involved in the response:
- Two Coast Guard Station Brunswick Response Boat crews;
- Two Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews;
- Coast Guard Cutter Heron launched to assist;
- Coast Guard Sector Charleston;
- Marine Safety Unit Savannah;
- Coast Guard Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT);
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources;
- Moran Towing;
- Brunswick Bar Pilots Association;
- Glynn County Fire Department; and
- Other response teams
The Port of Brunswick Captain of the Port (COTP) has established an emergency safety zone in St. Simons Sound. Vessels are not authorized within .5 miles of the Golden Ray, which is laid over on its side.
The Coast Guard has shifted operations completely to environmental protection, removing the vessel safely and resuming commerce.