At first glance, you’re not quite sure what it is.
Then you start to wonder if it’s supposed to be there.
What exactly is that off the Georgia coast?
Viewers of the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic most certainly want to know.
Well, it’s a capsized cargo ship, a 656-foot-long behemoth named the Golden Ray.
Back in September, the ship, reportedly carrying 4,200 vehicles, listed and tumbled in St. Simons Sound shortly after leaving Brunswick, Georgia, and bound for Baltimore, before capsizing.
Twenty people were quickly rescued. Four others were pulled off the ship a day later. The ship is owned by Hyundai Glovis, based in South Korea.
During the week, the talk up and down the practice range was this remarkable site. Golfers in the field for the RSM Classic took picture after picture of the ship and asked members of the media what they knew about it.
“That is the second most popular question I’ve been asked after ‘Can I get a parking pass?’” said Davis Love III, who shot a 2 under 68 to open his tournament week.
Removal could take more than a year
When the event is played again in 2020, the ship is likely to still be there.
The Brunswick News reported on Thursday that the Coast Guard said it’s likely to take more than a year to remove the ship, which is slowly sinking in the sand. In fact, a quarter of the ship is in sand more than 20-feet deep. That means it cannot be turned upright without breaking apart.
Crews have removed more than 317,000 gallons of oil from the ship, in an effort to stem the environmental damage. Still on board: those 4,200 passenger cars.
The cause of the capsize is still under investigation.
“It’s disappointing when I come down the 18th hole with the Commissioner of the PGA Tour, the CEO of RSM, one of his guests, and (rock star) Darius Rucker and it’s the prettiest day of the year and you see a barge with port-o-lets on it and a sunken ship in the background,” Love said.
And, for the curious, it’s been confirmed that the ship is too far out to hit with a golf ball.