Back in September of 2019, the 656-foot Golden Ray cargo ship capsized in St. Simons Sound. Originally headed out from Port of Brunswick, the vehicle was deliberately grounded in response to an unknown onboard emergency, and consequently capsized. Luckily, all 24 of its crew members were rescued, but the now-upside-down Golden Ray still has some 4,200 new vehicles trapped on board, including what appears to be K2-based Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs.
The Golden Ray is now being dismantled off the Georgia coast by the U.S. Coast Guard. The ship will reportedly be chopped up into eight individual sections and hauled away in a massive wreck removal operation involving more than 400 people and 80 different vessels. Rocks have been placed around the hull to help slow the effects of erosion, which is caused by strong tidal currents. More than 250,000 gallons of fuel have been removed from the vessel as well.
However, during the operation, a cargo assessment using laser imaging technology reveals what appears to be K2-based Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs still trapped inside. Some reports indicated the cargo ship contained over 4,000 Hyundais and Kias, but it’s uncertain what the exact vehicle makeup is.
It’s plausible that these K2-based Chevrolet Tahoe models were built in Arlington, transported via rail to the Brunswick Port in Georgia, loaded onto the cargo ship, and dispatched for the Middle East market.
We’ve reached out to GM for confirmation, but have not yet received a response. We’ll make sure to update this post if we hear back.
The fate of the trapped vehicles is also uncertain. While some of the images reveal clear indication of water damage and impact damage, it’s possible that some of the vehicles were unaffected by the vessel’s capsizing and remain above the water line.
Source: The Maritime Executive