The Golden Ray car carrier capsized in September 2019 off the coast of Georgia because of a crew member’s error in calculating its stability, according to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The agency found that the chief officer made a mistake when entering ballast quantities into the calculation program, leaving the vessel top heavy.
The NTSB also determined that two watertight doors had been left open, causing the ship to flood after it capsized.
In a report of its investigation, the NTSB recommended that the ship’s operator, G-Marine Service, establish procedures to verify stability calculations before a ship leaves port. The agency also said the company should create and crews should follow a checklist to ensure that its ships are ready to safely sail upon departure.
The NTSB said the incident caused losses of more than $200m – the ship was a total loss worth over $62m and the cargo, more than 4,000 vehicles, is estimated to have been worth $142m.
The Golden Ray has been disassembled in sections; two of the eight sections remain in the water. The work is expected to take several more months to complete.