Sur­vivors pulled from cap­sized cargo ship

USA TODAY International Edition - - FRONT PAGE - John Ba­con

Res­cuers search­ing an over­turned cargo ship off the Ge­or­gia coast Mon­day pulled three crew mem­bers to safety and worked on res­cu­ing the re­main­ing one.

The three South Kore­ans were plucked from a room in the hull near the ship’s pro­pel­ler, said Coast Guard Lt. Lloyd Heflin, who co­or­di­nated the res­cue. The fourth man was trapped be­hind glass in the ship’s en­gi­neer­ing com­part­ment.

The res­cues capped a day of hope when it was learned the four were alive.

Res­cue efforts were frus­trated Sun­day be­cause of a fire on the un­sta­ble boat, Petty Officer Luke Clay­ton said. Mon­day, the ship was sta­bi­lized and

the fire doused. A helicopter landed on the side of the ship, and a res­cue team was back at work, Clay­ton said.

“They were able to drill a small hole in the hull,” Clay­ton told USA TO­DAY. “They lo­cated all four of the miss­ing crew mem­bers.”

Clay­ton said the team drilled a big­ger hole to pro­vide the trapped crew mem­bers with fresh air, food and wa­ter.

A larger hole was then cut to ex­tri­cate the crew. The effort was slowed be­cause nor­mal torches weren’t used be­cause of fear of spark­ing an­other fire, he said.

“@ USCG and sal­vage crews are de­vel­op­ing an ex­trac­tion plan to safely res­cue the 4 # Gold­enRay crew mem­bers,” the Coast Guard tweeted. “This is a slow, but safe process.”

South Korea’s For­eign Min­istry said its gov­ern­ment sent its own rapid re­sponse team to the scene.

The Golden Ray, loaded with thou­sands of ve­hi­cles, listed and tum­bled in St. Si­mons Sound shortly af­ter leav­ing Brunswick, Ge­or­gia, on Sun­day bound for Bal­ti­more. Twenty peo­ple were quickly rescued.

Ship owner Hyundai Glo­vis, based in South Korea, said the rescued crew in­cluded six Kore­ans, 13 Philip­pine na­tion­als and an Amer­i­can har­bor pi­lot.

The ship’s com­mand and chief en­gi­neer as­sisted au­thor­i­ties and sal­vage teams in sta­bi­liz­ing the ship, so res­cue efforts could con­tinue, the Coast Guard said.

First re­spon­ders and tow­ing groups aided the effort.

The cause of the in­ci­dent was un­der investigat­ion. It was not clear whether weather con­di­tions played a role.

Hur­ri­cane Do­rian brushed past the Ge­or­gia coast last week but was gone Sun­day.

The port of Brunswick was closed to boat traffic, and a safety zone was es­tab­lished in the sound. Ships were not au­tho­rized within a half- mile of the Golden Ray.

The in­ci­dent comes one week af­ter a div­ing boat caught fire off Cal­i­for­nia’s Santa Cruz Is­land, killing 34 peo­ple.

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