US Coast Guard working to make sure Golden Ray is safe during severe weather

Storm could impact removal process of capsized boat in St. Simons Sound

St. Simons Island, Ga. — The U.S. Coast Guard is working to make sure the Golden Ray is safe in case of severe weather.

There are still 11 weeks left in hurricane season, so while this storm may not be the one that threatens the ship, there could be one that comes later on that could potentially move it from where it is sitting now.

The 650-foot overturned cargo ship is filled with oil, has thousands of cars on it and is still sitting on its side.

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"It's going to take them a long time to get that out," Maritime expert Rod Sullivan explained.

Sullivan told Action News Jax removing the Golden Ray from St. Simons Sound could take months.

He says if a strong storm passes through it could do more harm than good.


"If that ship was to shift in the course of a storm it could slide into the channel and if it slides into the channel it could block it," Sullivan explained.

The Coast Guard told Action News Jax they are working on a heavy weather plan in case impacts are felt.

You can see tugboats are being used right now to keep it stable.

"If this was a bigger storm like a category three, four or five hurricanes, you'd probably want to drive pilings down into the sand and tie it down so it wouldn't move," Sullivan added.

Only Action News Jax captured the dramatic rescues of four crew members on Monday.
Investigators are currently interviewing the other 20 crew members who were rescued after the ship capsized early Sunday morning. The cause of the capsize is still unknown. Sullivan told Action News Jax it's not the type of accident Coast Guard officials investigate often.

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