Focus shifts to salvage, pollution mitigation of capsized ship off Ga. coast

Focus shifts to salvage, pollution mitigation of capsized ship off Ga. coast

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - The U.S. Coast Guard is working to develop the best plan to retrieve the Golden Ray cargo ship from the St. Simons Sound.

The vessel capsized as it attempted to execute a turn on Sunday morning.

The Coast Guard held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to provide updates for what’s next as they attempt to flip the ship. They say they’re focusing on salvage and pollution mitigation.

#WATCH: The Coast Guard is giving a briefing on the overturned cargo ship in the St. Simons Sound.

Posted by WTOC-TV on Tuesday, September 10, 2019

They also say that Brunswick port operations are also a priority. The shipping channel has been closed since Sunday, but the Coast Guard says their goal is to have it open for limited commercial traffic as early as Thursday.

“We are currently transitioning from a rescue operation to a continued operations,” said Commander Norm Witt, commander of Marine Safety Unit- Savannah. "This is a complex case. We have salvage to deal with on a large vessel, we have pollution mitigation efforts ongoing, and there are some waterways and port operations issues as well. We certainly understand that there are real and significant impacts that this incident is causing. Obviously our number one priority is safety, public safety and safety for first responders. Potential environmental impacts that we’re attempting to mitigate, and there’s also some very real concerns on economic impact. Again, we’re trying to mitigate those as best we can. "

The ship is 656 feet long and weighs 71,000 tons. It was carrying more than 4,200 cars when it crashed off of the Glynn County coast.

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