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Local firefighters aid rescue aboard capsized cargo ship

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JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. - It's a scene some firemen based out of Livingston Parish won't forget any time soon. A crowd cheering as the fourth and final crew member of the "Golden Ray" cargo ship was pulled from the belly of the boat. 

"It was a very complex rescue," firefighter Ryan Nawrocki said.

The company, started by Chris Ferrara of Ferrara Fire Apparatus, is often contracted across the world to fight fires. 

When Ferrara first got the call, it was a request for help to put out a fire that had started on the ship. 

"Actually, the cargo ship was on fire at that particular time," Ferrara said. "The ship had some 4,000 new cars on it. It actually rolled to its side, and when it did that some of the cargo caught on fire."

A six-person crew including Nawrocki arrived early Monday morning to different orders. 

"We stepped the fire crew up from fire suppression to help with the rescue efforts," he said. 

Three men had already been successfully rescued when Nawrocki and the crew began. 

"We knew where the person was at, we had access to him. We went in with a two-man team and then we worked off with our other four men on the topside to come in and facilitate the rescue of bringing them out," he said. 

With the ship being so large, the crews had to rely on sound to help locate the men. 

"They had already located them by them banging on the hull. That's how we figured out their approximate location inside the ship to be able to rescue them."

Ferrara says he's proud to represent Louisiana in dire situations like this. 

"It's just really rewarding that we can make a difference. You know, Louisiana has a lot of talented people. We have a lot of great people." 


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