Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cargo Ship Nearly Runs Aground At St. Simons Island Pier

An automobile cargo ship veered into shallow waters, nearly running aground and prompting the brief evacuation of the St. Simons Island Pier. The outward-bound vessel, Toba, quickly dropped its anchors around 2 p.m. Monday in an apparent emergency maneuver that jerked the ship to a halt about 40 feet from the beach near the pier, according to witnesses. As the bow anchor dug into the sandy ocean bottom, the massive ship's stern swung toward the pier as a crowd of onlookers watched at a nearby park.
No injuries were reported. The pier was not damaged, police said. No damage was visible to the ship, which went back to sea after a stopover at the Port of Brunswick. The ship was helped back out to the shipping channel around 2:10 p.m. by crews from a marine towing company. The vessel is operated by the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines and has a registered home port of Singapore. The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.

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