cloudy.png
Sunday September 27th, 2020 1:03PM

Alarms, shouts recorded before ship overturned off Georgia

By The Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Sailors shouted above blaring alarms and other loud noises for several minutes as the cargo ship Golden Ray listed to one side and finally overturned a year ago along the coast of Georgia, according to an audio recording played Monday during a government hearing on the shipwreck.

The recording from the ship's black box was among the first pieces of evidence U.S. Coast Guard investigators presented on the opening day of public hearings expected to last more than a week.

The South Korean-owned Golden Ray capsized with more than 4,200 automobiles in its cargo decks shortly after departing the Port of Brunswick on Sept. 8, 2019. The ship, with its cargo still inside, remains stuck at the edge of the shipping channel off St. Simons Island, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of Savannah.

The audio played Monday accompanied an animation that followed the ship's course based on data from the black box recorder. It appeared to show the Golden Ray entering a turn to its starboard side when the chaos broke out.

“Whoa!” says a man’s voice less than a minute into the turn. Another man soon asks: “What’s going on captain?”

A series of loud, crashing noises erupt, followed soon by alarms. Sailors can be heard shouting “Hard port!” and “Stand by anchor!” About a minute after the commotion begins, a voice says: “We’re on our side over here.”

After what sound like futile efforts to right the ship, a voice asks if all watertight doors and compartments have been sealed.

“We’re aground at this point and the tide’s coming in,” a man says on the recording. He soon adds: “Captain, it’s best that we stay on the sandbar here... That way it doesn’t sink in the sound.”

It’s unclear from the recording what caused the Golden Ray to capsize.

Capt. Blake Welborn, the Coast Guard officer presiding over the hearings, said Monday that investigators found no evidence of failures in the vessel's safety equipment, communications equipment or machinery that contributed to the wreck.

Built in 2017, the Golden Ray had last been inspected by the Coast Guard in May 2019 — roughly four months before the ship capsized.

The Golden Ray overturned in the sound between St. Simons and Jekyll Islands. Because it's both deep and wide, local harbor pilots who steer ships into port and back to sea prefer that stretch for passing oncoming vessels, said Bruce Fendig, a senior member of the Brunswick Bar Pilots Association.

Hurricane Dorian brushed the Georgia coast just a few days before the Golden Ray capsized, but harbor pilots found no damage or disruption to the waterway or its navigational buoys, Fendig testified. He said 12 other ships had safely navigated the channel between the storm's passing and the Golden Ray's departure.

“The storm really wasn’t that significant for us,” said Fendig, who was not the pilot aboard the Golden Ray.

The Coast Guard has blocked out more than a week to hear testimony in the port city of Brunswick. As a precaution against coronavirus infections, the public is not allowed to attend in person. Instead, the hearings are being streamed live online.

Planned witnesses include the Golden Ray’s captain, the Georgia-based harbor pilot in charge of steering the ship when it capsized, and an executive of Hyundai Glovis, the shipping company that owns the vessel.

It could take another year before investigators publish a report of their findings, with recommendations aimed at improving safety.

Separate from the investigation, a multiagency command has spent the past year making plans to carve the ship into eight giant chunks to be hauled away by barges. Officials hope to begin the first cut sometime in October.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Alarms, shouts recorded before ship overturned off Georgia
Investigators have released audio of the chaotic final minutes aboard the cargo ship Golden Ray before it overturned a year ago on the coast of Georgia
1:03PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trump, Biden facing off on wildfires, climate change
President Donald Trump will huddle with local and federal fire officials in wildfire-scorched California Monday
12:59PM ( 16 minutes ago )
UK's Johnson defends planned law, says EU 'unreasonable'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his plan to unilaterally rewrite Britain’s divorce deal with the European Union is a necessary insurance policy against the bloc’s unreasonable behavior
12:54PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Experts say HIV testing down in US amid pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the fight against HIV
12:38PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Russian opposition leader Navalny able to leave hospital bed
Doctors treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny say his condition has improved, and he is able to breathe on his own and briefly leave his bed at the Charite hospital in Berlin
12:37PM ( 39 minutes ago )
NY Sports Club latest chain to seek bankruptcy protection
The company that runs New York Sports Club and Lucille Roberts gyms filed for bankruptcy protection with COVID-19, still prevalent in man parts of the U.S., gutting membership rolls at fitness companies nationwide
12:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Slow-moving Hurricane Sally carrying a deluge to Gulf Coast
Storm-weary residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast are preparing for a new weather onslaught as Hurricane Sally churns toward them
12:27PM ( 49 minutes ago )
As Sally chugs to coast, Gulf residents get ready
Storm-weary residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast are preparing for a new weather onslaught as Tropical Storm Sally churns toward them
11:07AM ( 2 hours ago )
Gulf Coast residents brace for Sally, possible new hurricane
Storm-weary residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast are preparing for a new weather onslaught as Tropical Storm Sally churns toward them
8:48AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Trump, Biden facing off on wildfires, climate change
President Donald Trump will huddle with local and federal fire officials in wildfire-scorched California Monday
12:59PM ( 16 minutes ago )
UK's Johnson defends planned law, says EU 'unreasonable'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his plan to unilaterally rewrite Britain’s divorce deal with the European Union is a necessary insurance policy against the bloc’s unreasonable behavior
12:54PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Q&A: What does a deal between TikTok and Oracle mean?
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has chosen Oracle over Microsoft as a new American technology partner to help keep the popular video-sharing app operating in the U.S., Oracle and the U.S. treasury secretary confirmed Monday
12:49PM ( 26 minutes ago )
France tightens screws on public activities to fight COVID
Two of France’s biggest cities with COVID-19 infection rates gathering speed even faster than the national surge in new cases are tightening limits on public activities
12:49PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Gabriela Hearst, Kerby Jean-Raymond win top fashion awards
The Council of Fashion Designers of America gave its top fashion awards on Monday to Gabriela Hearst for womenswear and Kerby Jean-Raymond for menswear
12:40PM ( 35 minutes ago )