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The Golden Ray cargo ship capsized because of inaccurate stability calculations, the NTSB finds

In its report about the investigation into the September 2019 capsizing, the NTSB additionally discovered that two watertight doorways had been left open, which brought on the vessel to flood after it capsized. The flooding trapped 4 crew members who had been later rescued.

The Golden Ray was carrying 4,100 automobiles and 24 crew members when it overturned whereas touring by way of St. Simons Sound. Ultimately fireplace, flooding and saltwater corrosion meant the ship was declared a complete loss estimated at $62.5 million, the NTSB mentioned in its report, and an estimated $142 million value of cargo was misplaced.

The possible trigger of the capsizing was the chief officer’s mistake whereas coming into ballast portions into the stability calculation program, the NTSB report mentioned. That meant the vessel had much less stability than the chief officer calculated, the report mentioned.

The operator of the ship additionally had no procedures to confirm the chief officer’s calculations, so the operator and grasp of the ship did not know the Golden Ray was crusing with out assembly stability necessities, the NTSB mentioned.

Firefighters spray water into the cut-away mid-section of the Golden Ray on May 14, 2021.

The accident

The Golden Ray left the Port of Brunswick at 1 a.m. on September 8, 2019, after unloading and loading automobiles and was on its approach to Baltimore. As the vessel made a flip to the proper, it heeled shortly to its left facet, finally settling at an angle of 90 levels, the NTSB report mentioned.

In a public listening to final 12 months, Capt. Jonathan Tennant, who steered the ship out of the port, mentioned all the things appeared regular earlier than it capsized.

The different crew members had been South Korean nationals. The first engineer on the ship, Junyong Kim — who was the final particular person to be rescued — additionally mentioned nothing appeared out of the strange till the ship turned sideways.

After the misery name, first responders started arriving shortly after 2 a.m. with vessels from the Coast Guard and Georgia Department of Natural Resources and a Coast Guard helicopter. By 6:45 a.m., they’d rescued 20 crew members, and it took till the night of the following day for first responders to rescue the 4 who had been trapped.
Members of the US Coast Guard unload supplies from a Coast Guard helicopter from the side of the Golden Ray on September 9, 2019, the day after it capsized.

Two crew members had been severely injured, the NTSB mentioned.

The NTSB’s suggestions

As a outcome of its investigation, the NTSB really useful that the operator of the vessel, G-Marine Service Co. Ltd., create procedures for verifying stability calculations earlier than a vessel leaves port.

It additionally really useful the firm confirm the crew follows a departure guidelines concerning the closing of watertight doorways.

On the Golden Ray, the NTSB discovered, “the two watertight doors had been left open for almost 2 hours before the accident. However, no one on the bridge ensured that the doors were closed before departure from the port.”

CNN’s Natasha Chen contributed to this report.

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