The US Coast Guard said a large cargo ship was overturned and caught fire near a major port in Georgia early Sunday. There were 23 crew members and a pilot on board. All but four of the crew members were safely evacuated from the vessel, a 656-foot gear carrier.
The ship was leaving Brunswick when it turned dramatically on its side early Sunday. Coastguards said they were informed by a 911 call around 2am of a capsized ship in the noise.
Captain John Reed, commander of the Coast Guard area in Charleston, said the rescuers noticed that smoke and flames were beginning to appear as the scene approached.
Reed stated that the fire was observed above the ship's starboard cargo and produced black smoke.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson told the Associated Press that it is unclear whether the weather has tipped the vessel. Hurricane Dorian swept the coast of Georgia last week before being decommissioned into a post-tropical cyclone. Dickinson said it was not known immediately if there were any casualties on board.
Cmdr. Norm Witt, commander of the Coast Guard Maritime Safety Unit in Savannah, stated that the incident was still under investigation.