Ruling out rumors on why ship ran aground - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Ruling out rumors on why ship ran aground

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) -

Most people want to know how could a three story, 200 foot long vessel run aground? 

One person on board the ship said the captain didn't know the huge sand bar was even there.

But if you look at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charts of our waterways, called The Tybee Roads, the actual shipping channel where our huge containers ships come in to the Port of Savanah, the depths of the water are anywhere from 30-40 feet. 

However, farther out, and a little bit north, depths may be two to four feet, and at low tide those shallower waters would be totally exposed. 

That passenger who told us on our WTOC Facebook page about the captain's explanation sent us pictures while still on the boat. He commented that the captain told people that Hurricane Arthur had moved some of the buoys and that this sandbar was not on any charts.  

Walter Rhame of SeaTow said the contrary.

"As far as I can tell, everything's the same as it always has been," he said. He continued pointing to the water. "You can see green there and red nun, that's closer to the Escapade"

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the channel markers were not moved out of place.

Could Hurricane Arthur have caused any movement of the sand, or shoaling, in that area that could have lead to the mishap?

Billy Birdwell of the Army Corps of Engineers told me that it didn't. 

"The channel, particularly along the area parallel to the mishap is at authorized depth.  Deep draft vessels are coming and going as usual in the harbor," said Birdwell.

So right now, it looks like we'll have to wait until the Coast Guard finishes their investigation into what really happened on the Escapade. 

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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