Coast Guard has freed 3 crew members from capsized cargo ship; efforts to save 4th ongoing: officials

Coast Guard makes contact with crew members in stricken cargo ship off Georgia

The Coast Guard has so far freed three of the four crew members stuck in a capsized South Korea-owned cargo ship off the Georgia coast, officials said at a Monday afternoon news conference. Efforts to save the fourth are continuing.

Earlier Monday, rescuers made contact with the four crew members stuck inside the South Korea-owned cargo ship that overturned and caught fire near a major port in Georgia over the weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Golden Ray, a 656-foot vehicle carrier, listed "heavily" and then rolled over on its side early Sunday in St. Simons Sound near Brunswick, Ga., according to the Coast Guard.

Rescuers drilled a three inch hole overnight through the ship's hull and made contact with the four crew members, who had been listed as missing.

Coast Guard rescuers were able to find the four South Korean crew members by rappelling down the side and drilling the hole, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which added that the rescue team communicated with the trapped sailors through the hole they drilled and also gave them food and water through the hole.


Rescuers work near the stern of the vessel Golden Ray as it lays on its side near the Moran tug boat Dorothy Moran, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Jekyll Island, Ga. 
(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. John Reed told reporters on Monday afternoon that the three saved crew members were in one area of the massive vessel and the fourth, who is currently being rescued, is stuck behind glass, enclosed in an engineering control room. Reed added that the three were able to get access to fresh air, food and water through the hole, but rescue crews were unable to reach the fourth crew member.

Reed said rescuers will find a way to get the fourth person “safely extracted” from that room where he has no access to fresh air, water and food.

“We will continue to press forward,” Reed told reporters.

Reed said when rescue teams heard "tap backs" from the three crew members stuck inside the cargo ship throughout the night it "really motivated the team" to continue with their rescue efforts.

“Knowing that the people were alive made all the difference,” said Reed.

He said the four crew members had been “subject to tough conditions over day and a half.” He added that the three saved crew members were transported to an area hospital to be checked out.


Reed said the U.S. Coast Guard is still investigating the cause.

Fox News’ Jeff Rubin, Travis Fedschun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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