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Golden Ray shipwreck: Crew member’s bad maths sank cargo ship carrying thousands of cars, report finds | World News


A crew member’s error in calculating the cargo weight of a ship loaded with thousands of cars most likely capsized the ship off the east coast of the United States.

The South Korean freighter Golden Ray capsized in 2019 and its wreck is still partially in situ in the waters off the state of Georgia.

It was loaded with around 4,200 cars, and the US National Transportation Safety Board report estimates the incident caused losses of $ 204 million (£ 147.7 million).

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The wreck of the Golden Ray is still partially in situ in the waters off the US state of Georgia. Photo: AP

The NTSB investigation echoed what a US Coast Guard expert established in a public hearing last year – that the ship did not have enough water for ballast below decks.

This led to the 199-meter vessel being heavy and capsizing on September 8, 2019.

And the situation was made worse by the fact that a door was left open on the lower decks – allowing seawater to seep in.

Some of the crew remained stranded and had to be rescued from the engine room – although the entire crew was ultimately rescued.

The vessel had just left Brunswick Harbor and was 70 miles from shore when its maneuvering system failed.

The ballast error, of approximately 1,500 tonnes, was most likely due to an error by one of the more experienced members of the crew.

The front section of the Golden Ray vehicle carrier, with some of the 4,000 vehicles on board, waits to be towed to a junkyard on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, in Brunswick, Georgia.  The salvage operation uses a heavy lifting double gantry crane with chain to cut the ship into seven pieces before they are hoisted onto a barge and scrapped.  (AP Photo / Stephen B. Morton)
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The South Korean freighter was loaded with around 4,200 cars. Photo: AP

“The chief officer made errors with entering ballast level data into the onboard stability computer,” the NTSB report said, “which led to his incorrect determination of the stability of the aircraft. ship”.

The first officer reports to the ship’s captain, and the document adds that he was not properly trained to use the software involved in calculating the ship’s stability.

Since the incident, the vessel’s operator, the G-Marine Service Company, has stepped up the training of its officers on the stability calculation.

    FILE - In this file photo from April 26, 2021, the interior decks of the capsized freighter Golden Ray are on display after the engine room section was cut and separated from the rest of the wreckage by a huge crane, offshore from St. Simons Island, Ga. Accounts from interviews with crew members are among more than 1,700 pages of documents released Thursday, July 29, by the National Transportation Safety Board.  The Golden Ray, carrying more than 1,400 vehicles, o
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The demolition of the Golden Ray began in November of last year. Photo: AP

The ship’s demolition began in November last year, with massive 122-meter-high cranes being used to aid workers.

There have been various setbacks since then, including fires and oil spills.

The area has been removed from the surrounding ocean as cars and other debris fall into the ocean during mine clearance.

The work is expected to last several more months.


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