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People react to overturned cargo ship

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Cameras are high and mouths are wide along the pier this evening. 

"It's crazy, I didn't think it would happen," said one person.

"I didn't believe it. I'm just like, there's no way," said another. 

"A ship like that is too big and too metal just to fall over with," said one more person.

A mom drove her kids an hour from Blackshear to have what she calls a teaching moment. 

"I was teaching them about sandbars and things of that nature, so I guess we're here moreover to support the community and teach the children life experience," said Rogena Whalen. "It was like my mind exploded. I didn't know these things could happen."

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone more surprised than Susan Inman. She's the riverkeeper of the St. Simons Sound and spends countless hours going up and down, patrolling the coast. She says she's seen ships run aground, but never tip over. 

"They're just not designed to do that so something else has happened to it," said Inman. "And then it's full of cars that have fuel and oil on itself. Currently, there's a small leak, not quite sure where it's coming from. It doesn't seem to be what is actually the ship's fuel and oil, it seems to be coming from somewhere else, so it might be something coming from the cars when they fell over and now are leaking out of the ship."

It could take weeks to right the ship, and Inman is worried about what the environmental impact could be.

"Catastrophic actually. This area is part of a toxic legacy in general we have a pulp mill that pollutes our river, and we have coal ash right next to our rivers so this is just another blow to this coast and it will destroy it," said Inman.

We haven't heard officially what caused this to happen, but we talked to an attorney who specializes in maritime law about what he thinks caused it to overturn.