Officials Investigate Cause Of Smoke From Capsized Cargo Ship Off Georgia Coast

Oct 21, 2019

State officials say they may never know what caused smoke to come out of the overturned cargo ship that has been immobilized in the St. Simons Sound for more than a month.

Marine workers noticed clouds of white smoke coming from the Golden Ray vessel Sunday morning.

Director of the Coastal Resources Division at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Doug Haymans said crews began work once they were alerted to the smoke.  

“There were some ventilation holes that were open,” Haymans said, “so the goal was to put water down those ventilation holes to try to smother it.”

An investigation to determine the source of the smoke is ongoing. Haymans said air quality tests around the vessel have found nothing outside acceptable ranges.

According to the St. Simons Sound Incidence Response unit traffic flow for other commercial vessels in the area has not been impacted by the smoke. A 150-yard safety zone surrounding the ship remains in effect.

The Golden Ray capsized in September after leaving the port of Brunswick with more than 4,000 vehicles on board. The 656-foot vessel has remained on its side since it capsized. Environmental groups continue to monitor oil coming from the ship.