17 people injured after a gangway disconnected from St. Marys dock while veterans were still on it

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — In Camden County a group of veterans and their families are recovering tonight after part of a boat ramp collapsed today. It happened in St. Marys, Georgia at The Wheeler Street ramp on the St. Marys River.

St. Marys city manager told me that around 10 a.m. they had a group of retired submarine sailors and their spouses from Fernandina beach. Those visitors were making their way back home on a charter boat on the metal gangway which is connected to Wheeler Street dock. That metal gangway ended up collapsing while the veterans were still on it.

St. Mary’s Fire and Police were dispatched to the area after 911 came in about the collapse. The submarine sailors were there for a tour and river cruise on St. Marys River


“We had a structural failure and ended up in the water. We don’t know how bad of a structural whatever, we’ve got a full-blown investigation underway right now,” says Robby Horton.

17 veterans and their families were hurt when a part of this boat ramp collapsed. Six had to be hospitalized. The others are expected to be okay.

“Sprains, bruises, those kinds of things,” says Robby Horton.

“I heard there was a reunion between some veterans and that the dock collapsed while people were on it,” says a local.

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We can now confirm the visitors on that gangway were retired submarine sailors from the USS angler and their spouses.

Now there is a nearby floating dock that was tapped off for security measures by the city’s engineers, it’s now back open.

“If you remember back when Irma came through all this was wiped out basically and they were all rebuilt around the same time so were taking extra precautions,” says Robby Horton.

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“I don’t wish that on anybody, it’s a sad situation,” says a local.

The Wheeler Street dock will be closed off for the next few days. In the meantime, boaters can go to the city’s Meeting Street boat dock.

“What is your hope for the people who were on the dock? They all get home to their families safely,” says a local.

“We don’t want anybody hurt here,” says Robby Horton.

Action News Jax spoke to a few witnesses who were on scene when the metal gangway collapsed, and they said thankfully at the time of the collapse the tide was low.

Also Read: Metal walkway at Wheeler Street Boat Ramp in St. Marys collapses, 17 injured, city manager says

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