Four missing, 20 rescued after cargo ship capsizes off Georgia coast

The US Coast Guard is searching for four crew members of a large cargo vessel that capsized while a fire on board still raged. Twenty people have so far been rescued, and four remain missing.

The 656-foot vehicle carrier, the M/V Golden Ray, is listing heavily in the St. Simons Sound. Images from the scene show smoke rising from its side. 

The ship capsized around 2 am local time after it had left the port of Brunswick en route to Baltimore, with 23 crew members and the captain on board.

The crew and salvage teams are trying to find a way to stabilize the vessel. Fire and smoke initially hampered efforts to locate and rescue the four crew members believed to be trapped inside the ship, Captain John Reed, commander of the Coast Guard Sector Charleston, said at a news conference on Sunday. 

Though the smoke dissipated, rescue crews are still “unable to determine specifically without going inside whether the fire has been completely extinguished,” Reed added.

Several injuries have occurred, according to a local reporter citing Coast Guard sources, but no further details have emerged.

The Golden Ray is a relatively new vessel, and was built in 2017. It is operated by the shipping division of Korean manufacturing giant Hyundai. The cause of the incident is under investigation.