Analysis points to faulty loading, low ballast in Golden Ray rollover
Professional Mariner|December - January2021
While the salvage of the sunken vehicle carrier Golden Ray has been delayed for months due to COVID-19 and the hurricane season, analysis by the U.S. Coast Guard has determined a possible cause for the rollover: a combination of vehicles placed too high on the ship’s decks, and not enough ballast water gave the placement of the cargo.
Gary Wollenhaupt

On Sept. 8, 2019, the Marshall Islands-flagged Golden Ray, loaded with 4,200 vehicles, was exiting Brunswick Harbor in Georgia bound for the Port of Baltimore. With 23 Korean crew and a Brunswick pilot on board, the vessel began to list severely while making a starboard turn. The 656-foot ship capsized and came to rest half submerged in St. Simons Sound.

During a four-day virtual public hearing in Brunswick, Ga., in September, Coast Guard investigators cited the placement of the vehicles and inadequate ballast for the incident. The service and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continue to investigate and will release final reports and any safety recommendations in about a year.

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