Savannah River Closed Due to Grounded Freighter

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Coast Guard captain of the port closed the Savannah River to all commercial vessel traffic due to a grounded freighter in the channel Tuesday at 1:45 a.m.

MSC Korea, a 796-foot Panamanian-flagged container ship, lost power during its outbound transit and ran aground on the South Carolina side of the river near Elba Island. It was then moved into safe water within the navigational channel by four tug boats without further incident.

MSC Korea’s crew checked all tanks on the vessel and found no indication of an oil leak or flooding. Coast Guard personnel report no sightings of oil in the water.

The anchored MSC Korea has not been able to restore power; however, the vessel does have four tug boats standing by to control its position. The vessel will be moved to a safe berth at a waterfront facility or to an offshore anchorage so commercial traffic on the Savannah River may resume after power is restored.

Prior to departing the Port of Savannah, the MSC Korea will be required to complete a dive survey of the hull to ensure no structural damage exists. The ship’s crew must also have a marine surveyor determine the reason for the loss of power and the proper course of corrective action.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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