MV Golden Ray

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MV Golden Ray
Car carrier GOLDEN RAY en quai.jpg
MV Golden Ray in Casablanca, Morocco
Name: MV Golden Ray
Operator: Hyundai Glovis
Port of registry: Majuro
Builder: Hyundai Mipo Dockyard
Yard number: H.8151
Laid down: 23 December 2015
Launched: 26 August 2016
Out of service: 8 September 2019
Identification:IMO number9775816
Fate: Capsized. Awaiting scrapping.
General characteristics
Tonnage: 71,178 GT
Length: 200 m (656 ft 2 in)
Beam: 35.4 m (116 ft 2 in)
Propulsion: 1 propeller
Speed: 19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)
Capacity: 7,400 cars
Crew: 23

The MV Golden Ray was a 200-metre (660 ft)-long car carrier that capsized on 8 September 2019 in St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick in Georgia, United States. She was eventually declared a total loss and is being removed as scrap.


Golden Ray was built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea.[1] Her keel was laid on 23 December 2015, and she was launched on 26 August 2016.[1] She was delivered from the builder on 12 May 2017, and at the time of her capsizing was owned and operated by Hyundai Glovis.[1][2] Golden Ray measured 71,118 gross tons and 20,995 deadweight tons, and was 200 metres (656 ft 2 in) long, with a beam of 35.4 metres (116 ft 2 in).[1] She was powered by a single diesel engine that gave her a service speed of 19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph) via a single propeller, and had a capacity of up to 7,400 cars.[1][2]


On September 8, 2019, Golden Ray capsized within the Port of Brunswick's harbor, shortly after unberthing and proceeding towards the Port of Baltimore.[3] The ship departed the dock in Brunswick shortly after midnight and had traveled for only 23 minutes when it started to list. The serious listing caused the port to close immediately. All 23 crewmen on board as well as an American maritime pilot survived, including three engineers who were in the ship's engine room at the time of the incident.[4]

There was a rescue mission by the United States Coast Guard to find 4 of the 23 crew members that were missing. All were eventually rescued and appeared to be in good medical condition.[5] The vessel was carrying 4,200 brand new Kia and Hyundai cars[6] [7] manufactured in Mexico, and vehicles made by other companies[8] for delivery to the Middle East.[9] At the time of its demise, the ship was carrying about 4,300 Kia, Chevrolet, GMC, GM, Mercedes-Benz, and Ram vehicles, according to a report from Car and Driver. The ship was on its way to Baltimore, Maryland at the time of its capsizing.[10]

The incident was mentioned as related to a sudden loss of stability, possibly due to cargo stowage and incorrect water ballasting.[11] A Hyundai Glovis executive told the news media that "there was some kind of an internal fire that could not be controlled and then it capsized".[12] A fire delayed the rescue of the last crew member.[3] The National Transportation Safety Board agreed to assist in investigating the capsize, with two investigators assigned to the case.[13]

Remote view of a large ship listing 90°, its red hull largely out of the water, with two large tugboats and several smaller boats attending to it
MV Golden Ray photographed capsized on September 9, 2019

Environmental concerns[edit]

In November 2019, The New York Times quoted Fletcher Sams, the executive director of the Altamaha Riverkeeper, a nonprofit that monitors pollution in Georgia's Altamaha River, describing “a concoction of contaminants” already found in the water that has included gas and heavy bunker fuel that powered the ship, as well as gasoline, diesel and antifreeze from the vehicles that were being transported. As of mid-November 2019, it remained unknown how much had flowed into the sound. The discharge could have been limited to a small amount, but the oil and chemicals could have also washed into marshland and seeped into the sediment. Concern was also expressed about a new wave of contaminants from the capsized ship when it is cut up for salvage. Oil coated grass and floating tarballs were observed around St. Simon's Sound and St. Simon's Island.[14]


The ship has 24 fuel tanks, and all were almost full when she capsized. By 27 September, two of them had been pumped out and vents on the others were plugged. 15,500 US gallons (59,000 L; 12,900 imp gal) had been pumped out, of a total of 300,000 US gallons (1,100,000 L; 250,000 imp gal) believed to be on board. The port continued to operate through the salvage process, with some delays. The salvage operation is expected to take several months, and a team was sent to Chile to examine her sister ship, Silver Ray, to better understand the internal layout.[15] There are twelve tanks near the engine room and twelve elsewhere on the ship. The salvage crews are monitoring for any pollution caused by leaks.[16]

In October 2019, due to the fire, saltwater corrosion, and salvage costs, the Golden Ray was declared a total loss, and it was announced that the ship would be cut up in place and scrapped.[17][18] Insurance losses on the ship are estimated at $70-80 million, and $80 million in its contents. The salvage work will be done by T&T Salvage utilizing the Versabar heavy lift vessel VB-10,000.[19] On December 13, 2019, Coast Guard authorities confirmed that salvage workers had removed all the vessel's fuel.[20]

Preparing to cut off the stern in December 2020

On January 20, 2020, salvage workers had to cope with another fire on board the vessel.[21] In February 2020, it was announced that the vessel will be cut into eight sections weighing between 2,700 and 4,100 tons that will then be removed on barges for disposal.[22] In late October, the VB-10,000 heavy lift vessel arrived and was in position over the wreck on October 27.[23] Cutting operations began on November 6, 2020.[24]

In late November 2020 the first cut was completed, removing the vessel's bow. It was expected to take 24 hours, but after delays caused by tropical storms, and a broken cutting chain, it took over 20 days. The stern was intended to be removed in the second cut.[25]

As of January 22, 2021 preparations for the separation of "Section 7" from the wreck were underway. Preparations were also underway for the cutting of "Section 2".[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "GOLDEN RAY (9775816)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Cargo ship overturn to hurt Hyundai Glovis". The Korea Times. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Alonso, Melissa; Andone, Dakin (9 September 2019). "Four crew members are missing after a cargo ship capsized off the Georgia coast". CNN.
  4. ^ "Four trapped crewmen rescued from overturned ship off Georgia coast". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Amy, Jeff; Morton, Stephen (9 September 2019). "4 missing crew members rescued after cargo ship overturns near Georgia". Global News.
  6. ^ "Hyundai Glovis Car carrier listing". Reuters.
  7. ^ "Inside Golden Ray". The Maritime Executive. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Hyundai plans to expand manufacturing operations in Nuevo Leon, state official says".
  9. ^ "Rescue continues for those aboard Hyundai Glovis ship". Korea Herald.
  10. ^ Andrew Lawrence (2020-12-09). "Cargo Ship Traded Subcompacts for Kia Tellurides before Capsizing". Car and Driver. Retrieved 2021-03-14.
  11. ^ Voytenko, Mikhail (September 8, 2019). "Car carrier capsized, crew evacuated, Brunswick USA UPDATE 4 crew crew alive!".
  12. ^ Paris, Costas (9 September 2019). "Coast Guard Finds Four Trapped Crew Members in Capsized Cargo Ship". The Wall Street Journal.
  13. ^ "Golden Ray cargo ship: US Coastguard saves trapped crew members". BBC News. 10 September 2019.
  14. ^ Rick Rojas (2019-11-16). "After a Giant Ship Goes Belly Up, Many Fear a Shoreline Is Next". The New York Times. St. Simons Sound. Retrieved 2020-01-20. The 656-foot vessel, called the Golden Ray, has been lying since early September off a slice of the Georgia coast specked with resorts and sprawling high-dollar homes. It has made for a jarring sight that has left many in the community unsettled by what it will ultimately mean for the economy and environment. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Inclan, Lorena (27 September 2019). "2 of Golden Ray's 24 fuel tanks have been emptied, but there's still long way to go". Action News Jax. Retrieved 30 September 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Salvage crews give update on capsized cargo ship off Ga. coast". WTOC-TV. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Salvage experts to haul overturned cargo ship away piece by piece". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 13, 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Golden Ray a total loss, to be broken up in place". Insurance Marine News. October 15, 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Rhone, Nedra (November 9, 2019). "Plan to cut up capsized cargo ship has roots in previous disasters". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 10 November 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Natasha Chen (2019-12-13). "Crews have finished removing 320,000 gallons of oil and water from overturned cargo ship". CNN. Retrieved 2020-01-20. Crews have completed removing fuel from the Golden Ray, a cargo ship that has been overturned in St. Simons Sound off Georgia since early September, the St. Simons Sound Unified Command said Thursday. More than 320,000 gallons of oil and water mixture were removed. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ Jamarlo Phillips (2020-01-20). "1 of 4,200 cars catches fire on Golden Ray cargo ship". Action News Jax. St. Simons Sound. Retrieved 2020-01-20. Action News Jax obtained video of smoke pouring out of the overturned cargo ship off St. Simons Island. It’s the latest drama to happen on the Golden Ray as crews work to remove the 656-foot ship from the water. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Golden Ray Wreck Removal Plan Announced The Maritime Executive February 5, 2020
  23. ^ "Giant crane arrives at Georgia shipwreck awaiting removal". WTOC11. Associated Press. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  24. ^ Hobbs, Larry. "VB 10,000 to commence cutting Golden Ray today". The Brunswick News. Retrieved November 26, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ Kless, Troy (November 30, 2020). "Crews finish 'first cut' on Golden Ray salvage effort, experts still concerned about environmental risks". WTLV-TV. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  26. ^ Staff. "Crews prepare to separate Section Seven of Golden Ray wreck". WTOC11. Retrieved 7 February 2021.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°07′39.1″N 81°24′10.9″W / 31.127528°N 81.403028°W / 31.127528; -81.403028