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Ship Knocks Over Light Tower Off Savannah Coast

November 29, 1996

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) _ The crew of an 800-foot container ship was ordered to undergo drug and alcohol tests after it crashed into a light tower in the Atlantic off the coast of Georgia.

The ship destroyed the tower and spilled 70 large drums of paint, two containers of corrosives and two of flammable liquids overboard, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

The Singapore-flagged ship, which was bound for Panama, was ordered to go to Port Everglades, Fla., where the crew will undergo drug and alcohol tests, the Coast Guard said.

The Neptune Jade left Savannah Wednesday night and was nine miles out to sea when it hit the 60-foot light tower around 8:30 p.m., causing the tower to collapse in the ocean.

The light tower is the first navigational aid for ships as they enter the Savannah River, which leads to the Savannah port. The Coast Guard planned to erect a temporary light tower to help guide ships.

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