Flames engulfing cargo ship’s remains off Georgia coast


ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Fire burned Friday inside the remains of an overturned cargo ship being dismantled on the Georgia coast.

Sue Inman of the Altamaha Riverkeeper conservation group told The Associated Press she could see flames shooting from the open ends and the top of the Golden Ray on Friday afternoon as she watched from a boat about 300 yards (275 meters) away near St. Simons Island. Thick black smoke was filling the sky, she said, and loud several loud popping sounds could be heard from the shipwreck.

“It is ablaze. You can actually hear explosions,” Inman said. “It’s just so hot they can’t even get close to the boat.”

She said a crew aboard a crane being used to dismantle the ship could be seen spraying the fire with hoses.

A spokesman for the multiagency command in charge of the demolition did not immediately return phone and email messages.

The Golden Ray capsized off St. Simons Island, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of Savannah, in September 2019. Crews have spent months carving the ship into giant chunks using anchor chain to tear through the hull with brute force, then carrying each section away by barge.

In April they reached the halfway mark after separating the ship’s engine section.

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