USCG Sector Charleston and Maritime Partners Recognized with ReadyCommunities Partnership/CCROA National Service Award for M/V GOLDEN RAY Crew Rescue
By: CCROA/ReadyCommunities Partnership
In the early hours of September 8, 2019, the 656' vessel bearing the Marshall Island flag and carrying more than 4,000 vehicles, was headed to the Port of Baltimore when it capsized in St. Simons Sound with 23 foreign crew members and one US pilot aboard.
By air and by sea, the USCG led the coordinated rescue of the first 20 crew who had made their way to the exterior of the vessel. Through perseverance, the responders overcame remaining challenges to free the last four from the propeller shaft and engine room.
John W. Reed, USCG Sector Charleston Commander and Incident Commander of the St. Simon Sound Incident Response accepted the award on behalf of all of the responders at the scene and said, "At the 40th hour, the moment came when all of the crew had been rescued – it was a joyous moment – not only for the crew and responders but also for myself and the crew's family members."
ReadyCommunities Partnership Charleston, SC Co-Chairs Dr. Michael G. Schmidt, MUSC and Capt. John E. Cameron, USCG (ret.) hosted the ceremony opened by Director Jay Wiggins at the Glynn County EOC on March 6, 2020, in Brunswick, GA. The award was co-presented by Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey and RCP Director Dr. Rosalie J. Wyatt.
Mayor Cornell Harvey said, "The work of the GOLDEN RAY responders was heroic, together they persisted amidst trying conditions to bring all of the crew to safety."
Capt. John E. Cameron, USCG (ret.) said, "It's very likely that none of the first responders had ever seen a situation like it. But their collective experience, training, and readiness while out there at 3:00 AM on a Sunday coordinating across multiple jurisdictions and with commercial professionals, proves the power of public/private preparedness - to be ready for far more than what's foreseeable."
VP/GM Albert E. Cook said, "On the morning of September 8th, 2019, Moran Towing Corporation and the tug crews of the Ann Moran and Dorothy Moran upheld the time-honored maritime tradition of rendering assistance to those in peril at sea."
Alongside CAPT. Reed, about 30 responders co-accepted the award, representing USCG Air Station & Marine Safety Unit Savannah; Search & Rescue Station Brunswick, Brunswick Pilots, Defiant Marine, Donjon-SMIT Salvage, Gallagher Marine Systems, GA DNR Law Enforcement, GA Ports Authority Brunswick, Glynn County Emergency Management, Moran Towing, Port of Brunswick, and Sea Tow.
ReadyCommunities Partnership National Service and Sacrifice Awards acknowledge individuals and organizations for their exemplary service and contributions to the resiliency of America's strategic port communities. Visit http://www.readycommunities.org
Dr. Rosalie J. Wyatt, MBA