Brunswick American Legion honors Golden Ray rescue crews

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – There was a heartfelt salute Thursday night to members of the Glynn County Fire Department, the Tow Pilots Association, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and others — for all their efforts in the early hours of the Golden Ray cargo ship capsizing in the St. Simons Sound.

The ship’s crew members were safely removed from the vessel.

“These organizations have been a part of United States history for a very long time, and they’re uniquely qualified to recognize valor and heroism when they see it,” said Al Cook, with Moran Brunswick Towing.

The recipients were each recognized by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and received the American Legion Heroism Medal. the SAR Life Saving Medal and a certificate from the office of U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga.

“Whether it be in the harbor, whether it be in our home, whether it be in the playground, they’re there in minutes and they’re ready to risk their life,” said Wayne Brown with American Legion Post 294.

The Golden Ray overturned soon after leaving the Port of Brunswick in Sept. 2019. Nearly two dozen crew members were aboard.

Rescuers rushed in.

“These professional mariners were prepared, and they answered the time honored tradition to render assistance to those in distress at sea and in peril of being lost at sea,” said J. Steven Hinson, with American Legion Post 9.

Once the crew was rescued, the International Seafarers’ Center stepped in — with the help of a generous community.

“I am so privileged to live in a community such as Brunswick and Glynn County,” said Vicki West, with the Seafarer’s Center. “Everything that we asked for we received. Not just an adequate amount, but an over abundance, and it was absolutely amazing.”

About the Author:

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.