There was also a fire on the vessel, a 656-foot vehicle carrier called the Golden Ray, according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard. It was unclear how many vehicles were onboard.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson said Sunday evening that rescue efforts were not active, citing the listing of the ship and weather concerns. The search will resume when it is safe for rescue crews, he said.
The ship had 24 people on board, including 23 crew members and one pilot, the Coast Guard said. Twenty people were rescued, Dickinson said.
There was no fuel leaking from the vessel but the authorities were continuing to investigate. “We know there’s fuel on board and we just want to make sure it’s not a hazard to the water,” he said.
The vessel had stopped smoking, but the authorities could not be certain if the fire had been extinguished without getting into the vessel, Dickinson said.
Around 2 a.m. Sunday, the Coast Guard was notified that the ship had capsized in the St. Simons Sound, about 80 miles south of Savannah. Multiple Coast Guard units were deployed.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that two investigators were assigned to the case.
The ship’s master and chief engineer were working with the authorities to stabilize the ship and continue rescue efforts.
Other vessels are not permitted within a half mile of the capsized ship, the news release said.
The Golden Ray is flagged out of the Marshall Islands and it arrived in Brunswick on Saturday night, according to VesselFinder.com. The ship was set to arrive in Baltimore on Monday night.
“Once salvage professionals have determined the vessel to be stable, we will identify the best option to continue our rescue efforts for the four crew members who remain onboard,” Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said at a news conference Sunday, The Associated Press reported.
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