After 'pure horror' of rescue, authorities ponder what to do with the Golden Ray
The dramatic rescue of the last four crew members trapped inside the capsized M/V Golden Ray off the Georgia coast on Monday signaled the start of a new challenge for maritime authorities and salvors: What do you do with a 650-foot-long, 71,000-ton cargo ship filled with oil and thousands of cars, flopped over on its side, blocking the nation's second-busiest port for vehicles and heavy machinery?
Attention swiftly turned to that conundrum Tuesday even as the world was celebrating the safe rescue of all 24 people aboard the Golden Ray.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Justin Irwin, the officer in charge at Coast Guard Station Brunswick, called the rescue operation "a pure miracle." He said severe dehydration was already kicking in for the last four men who were pulled from the ship Monday after having been trapped for 40 hours in pitch dark, broiling conditions.
The temperature at St. Simons Sound, near Brunswick, hit 93 degrees Sunday and 92 Monday, and Irwin said in an interview on NBC's "Today" that it was "about 140 degrees in these compartments."
"Pitch black dark. No water. No food. Disoriented. Covered in oil," Irwin said. "Just pure horror."
Cmdr. Norm C. Witt, the commanding officer at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah, quoted a colleague on Tuesday as having called the rescue "the best day of his Coast Guard career." But Witt has a new job now, and he swiftly focused his attention on that.
"This is a complex case," Witt told reporters. "We have salvage ...
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