It is hard to imagine the kind of fear that must have invaded the minds of the crewmen aboard the Golden Ray shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday. Their vessel was heading out to sea after loading up with vehicles at the Port of Brunswick when a nightmare began.
The Golden Ray began “listing heavily” while executing a right turn in the channel. The ship rolled over completely on its left side sometime after 1:30 a.m. Through the incredible effort of the Coast Guard and other agencies, all 24 of the men on board would be rescued. That circumstance would be compounded for four of the men, who were trapped on the ship until they were freed Monday afternoon.
While no doubt grateful to have survived such an event, the crew of 14 Filipinos, nine South Korean men and one South Korean woman also finds themselves stuck in a foreign land without any possessions.
Even though they survived a traumatic experience, they are still stuck in a tough situation.
Luckily, the sailors have the International Seafarers’ Center in Brunswick to help them out. The organization is a Christian-based nonprofit that acts as a welcome center for thousands of mariners who come through the Port of Brunswick each year.
The crew members came to shore with just the clothes on their backs. The Seafarers’ Center was ready to help, offering the crew a chance to pick out some clothes from the selection the center keeps on hand.
Since being rescued, the crew has been put up in a motel in Glynn County, where investigators can talk to each one about what happened. All are also awaiting the needed paperwork to return to their homes. Until that happens though, the Seafarers’ Center and other county residents are hoping to make their stay as comfortable as possible.
Isles residents have provided food, clothing, socks, shoes and other items to help the crew members out while they remain in the Golden Isles. The giving comes as no surprise to us.
There has been an outpouring for a variety of causes lately in the area, whether it is helping the crew of the Golden Ray or providing items to help those devastated by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
We commend all who have provided their time, money or supplies to help out the crew. We are especially proud of the Seafarer’s Center, which continues to provide support for all of the mariners that come through our port.
The staff and volunteers always have a friendly smile and are ready to help when needed.
The center is our area’s connection to the men and women that come through the port. We couldn’t think of a better way to make a first impression.