GLYNN COUNTY, Fla. - Dozens of locals head out to the St. Simons Island pier and watch the boats coming in each day in and out of the port of Brunswick.
Four crew members remain unaccounted for aboard the capsized cargo ship Golden Ray. The @USCGSoutheast rescue crews have not been able to get back inside the ship since a fire broke out on earlier today. I'll explain why at 10 & 11 on @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/wyn0kiRsq5— Dani Bozzini (@DaniANjax) September 9, 2019
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On Sunday morning, this normally quiet little pier was greeted by a very different sight.
"To see it on its side, it was just so big, so surprising, and there's just a huge crowd down here," Cindy Diangelo said.
#HappeningNow @USCG and port partners are conducting a rescue operation for four crew members aboard a disabled cargo vessel in St. Simons Sound, Brunswick, Georgia. More information here: https://t.co/R4QQoROXwM pic.twitter.com/uvaue64k82— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) September 8, 2019
Bill Lennox lives in Brunswick, and he says he's never seen anything like this.
"It's pretty unusual to see a ship of this size to be sitting on its side out here in St. Simons Sound," Lennox said.
Bruce Jackson was on the pier around 6 a.m. when he spotted firetrucks, police cars and a massive cargo ship on its side.
"This is a disaster," Jackson said.
Jackson watched the rescue operation unfold as Coast Guard crews scrambled to save people on board the Golden Ray.
A @USCG Air Station Savannah helicopter crew and port partners rescued 20 people early this morning after the Golden Ray, a 656-foot vehicle carrier, was reported disabled and listing. 4 crew members are still unaccounted for. Video available here: https://t.co/WxHwVs9LPN pic.twitter.com/dD92UPuHH9— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) September 8, 2019
"Tug boats, Sea Tow, numerous boats were out," Jackson said.
He showed Action News Jax reporter Alicia Tarancon a photo of smoke coming from the ship and The Coast Guard told us there was a fire on board during the rescue mission.
People crowded around the pier, all eager to get a better look at the listing vessel.
"This don't never happen ever, so this is pretty big for this island," Jackson said.
Beach goers have been advised not to wade or swim in the ocean on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands until the Georgia Coastal Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources conducts testing to measure environmental impacts.
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