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Coast Guard Enforces Safety Zone After Vessel Runs Aground In Savannah River

SAVANNAH — The Coast Guard established a safety zone around the motor vessel Maersk Surabaya after the vessel ran aground in the Savannah River near Fort Jackson, Tuesday.

A Coast Guard Station Tybee Island 45-foot Response Boat—Medium (RBM) crew enforced a 509-foot safety zone while seven tugs repositioned the 1091-foot motor vessel to the center of the shipping channel. 

No injuries or pollution was reported. The vessel is safely moored. 

The Coast Guard temporarily closed the waterway with the cooperation of port pilots and there was no impact to other commercial traffic.

The Coast Guard was notified at 6:09 p.m. Tuesday via the vessel agent of a motor vessel that ran aground in the Savannah River.

Sector Charleston command center watchstanders dispatched a 45-foot RBM crew from Station Tybee to respond. 

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah is investigating. 

By John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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