4 missing after ship capsizes off USA coast

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Thank you, guys.

A South Korea foreign ministry statement said Monday that the crew members were alive and isolated inside an engine room. Phillip VanderWeit said earlier in the day.

Three crew members could walk on their own.

The fourth crew member has yet to get any food or water around 36 hours into his ordeal.

The four have been transported to area hospitals.

Four people had been unaccounted for after the 656-foot vessel caught fire and overturned on the St. Simons Sound off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia, around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Earlier, the exhilaration of rescuing three crew members was tempered by the realisation that a fourth person was still trapped behind glass in an engineering compartment on a separate deck. Heflin said this shortly after the last sailor, wearing only shorts, was extracted from the ship's hull while responders cheered on.

Rescuers were using a hole they drilled into the hull of the massive carrier to provide the sailors with fresh air, and drinking water also are being sent to them through it, a Coast Guard official told ABC-TV.

The capsizing of the Golden Ray as it left Georgia's Port of Brunswick early Sunday caused fires and smoke, and while the flames are now apparently out, the huge ship is listing at almost 90 degrees, with more than 4,000 vehicles inside it.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is looking into the incident.

The capsized Golden Ray
The capsized Golden Ray

Twenty members of the crew were rescued around 5am.

The ship channel was closed to vessel traffic. Some were hoisted into helicopters while others were lowered, in some cases by fire hose, into boats, he said.

Fire and smoke were coming from the ship, and once they dissipated it was still unclear if the blaze was completely extinguished, officials said.

Tervoort said the men waited roughly 30 hours for rescue in tough conditions - in the dark, breathing air filled with fumes in the ship's engine room, in sweltering temperatures of almost 150 degrees (65.5 Celsius). The carrier was built in 2017 and was sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands, according to the website.

Brunswick is one of the busiest U.S. seaports for shipping automobiles.

They were rescued around 4 and 5 a.m., VanderWeit said.

Those who were rescued were offered assistance by the International Seafarers' Center in Brunswick, Georgia, according to the center's director Vicki West.

20 of the 24 crew members on board the ship have been rescued, but risky conditions forced officials to halt the ongoing operation.

Officials are still trying to determine what caused the ship to overturn.

Those on board included 23 crew members, who are all are from South Korea, and a harbor pilot from the Port of Brunswick, according to the Coast Guard. Marine Traffic shows that the Golden Ray overturned as it was passed by another auto carrier entering St. Simons Sound.

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