MV Golden Ray

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MV Golden Ray
Car carrier GOLDEN RAY en quai.jpg
Car carrier GOLDEN RAY in Casablanca, Morocco
Name: MV Golden Ray
Operator: Hyundai Glovis
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
General characteristics
Tonnage: 71,178
Length: 200 metres (660 ft)
Beam: 35.4 metres (116 ft)
Draft: 10.6 metres (35 ft)
Propulsion: 1 propeller
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Capacity: 7700 cars
Crew: 23

The MV Golden Ray is a 200-metre-long car carrier built in 2017 at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea. Since 8 September 2019, she has been lying on her side in shallow water in St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick in Georgia, United States.


On Saturday, September 8, 2019, MV Golden Ray, built in 2017 and flying the Marshall Islands flag, capsized within Port of Brunswick harbour, shortly after unberthing and proceeding towards Port of Baltimore.[1] The ship departed the dock in Brunswick shortly after midnight and had traveled only 23 minutes when it started to list. The serious listing caused the immediate port closure. 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.[2]

There was a rescue mission by United States Coast Guard to find 4 of the 23 crew members that went missing. All were eventually rescued and appeared to be in good medical condition.[3] The vessel was carrying brand new Kia and Hyundai cars[4] manufactured in Mexico, and vehicles made by other companies[5] for delivery to the Middle East.[6] The incident was mentioned as related to a sudden loss of stability possibly due to cargo stowage and incorrect water ballasting.[7] 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".[8] A fire had delayed the rescue of the last crew member.[1] The National Transportation Safety Board agreed to assist in the investigation of the cause of the incident with two investigators assigned to the case.[9]

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 Damage from Capsize[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 the ship is cut up for salvage. Oil coated grass and floating tarballs were observed around St. Simon's Sound and St. Simon's Island.[10]


The ship had 24 fuel tanks, and all were almost full when she capsized. By 27 September, 2 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 continues to operate, with some delays. The salvage operation is expected to take several months, and a team was sent to Chile to examine her sister ship, MV Silver Ray to better understand the internal layout.[11] 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.[12]

In October 2019 the U.S. Coast Guard announced that the Golden Ray would be cut up in place and scrapped.[13] 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 VB-10,000 (ship) Heavy Lift Vessel.[14]

Coast Guard authorities confirmed salvage workers had removed all the vessel's fuel, on December 13, 2019.[15]

On January 20, 2020, salvage workers had to cope with a fire on board the vessel.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Alonso, Melissa; Andone, Dakin (9 September 2019). "Four crew members are missing after a cargo ship capsized off the Georgia coast". CNN.
  2. ^ "Four trapped crewmen rescued from overturned ship off Georgia coast". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  3. ^ Amy, Jeff; Morton, Stephen (9 September 2019). "4 missing crew members rescued after cargo ship overturns near Georgia". Global News.
  4. ^ "Hyundai Glovis Car carrier listing". Reuters.
  5. ^ "Hyundai plans to expand manufacturing operations in Nuevo Leon, state official says".
  6. ^ "Rescue continues for those aboard Hyundai Glovis ship". Korea Herald.
  7. ^ Voytenko, Mikhail (September 8, 2019). "Car carrier capsized, crew evacuated, Brunswick USA UPDATE 4 crew crew alive!".
  8. ^ Paris, Costas (9 September 2019). "Coast Guard Finds Four Trapped Crew Members in Capsized Cargo Ship". The Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ "Golden Ray cargo ship: US Coastguard saves trapped crew members". BBC News. 10 September 2019.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Salvage crews give update on capsized cargo ship off Ga. coast". WTOC-TV. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Salvage experts to haul overturned cargo ship away piece by piece". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 13, 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  14. ^ Rhone, Nedra (November 9, 2019). "Plan to cut up capsized cargo ship has roots in previous disasters". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.

External links[edit]

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