clearn.png
Wednesday September 18th, 2019 3:23AM

Rescuers pull 4th and final crewman alive from cargo ship

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Coast Guard rescuers pulled four trapped men alive from a capsized cargo ship Monday, drilling into the hull's steel plates to extract the crew members more than a day after their vessel overturned while leaving a Georgia port.

All four were reported as being alert and in relatively good condition and were taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

"Best day of my 16-year career," Lt. Lloyd Heflin, who was coordinating the effort for the Coast Guard, wrote in a text message to The Associated Press.

Three of the South Korean crew members came out in the midafternoon. The fourth man, who was trapped in a separate compartment, emerged three hours later.

The rescues followed nearly 36 hours of work after the Golden Ray, a giant ship that carries automobiles, rolled onto its side early Sunday as it was leaving Brunswick, bound for Baltimore.

"All crew members are accounted for," Coast Guard Southeast wrote on Twitter. "Operations will now shift fully to environmental protection, removing the vessel and resuming commerce."

In the hours immediately after the accident, the Coast Guard lifted 20 crew members into helicopters before determining that smoke and flames and unstable cargo made it too risky to venture further inside the vessel. Officials were also concerned about the stability of the ship, which was carrying 4,000 vehicles, some of which may have broken loose.

That left responders looking for the remaining four crew members. At first, Reed said, rescuers were not sure whether the noises they were hearing inside were some of the vehicles crashing around. But by dawn Monday, they had grown confident that the taps were responses to their own taps, indicating someone was alive inside.

"It was outstanding when I heard the news this morning that we had taps back throughout the night," Reed said, saying it helped lead rescuers to the right place on the 656-foot (200 meter) vessel, and provided motivation.

"They were charged up knowing the people were alive," Reed said.

On Monday morning, rescuers landed on the side of the Golden Ray and rappelled down the hull. Heflin, who was coordinating the search, said they found three men in a room close to the propeller shaft, near the bottom of the stern. Responders began drilling, starting with a 3-inch (7.5-centimeter) hole. Coast Guard officials brought the ship's chief engineer, who was rescued Sunday, out to the ship to translate, and found the three men were "on board and OK," as Heflin put it.

Reed said rescuers passed food and water through the hole to the men. It also provided fresh air to the propeller room, which Reed said was even hotter than outside, where the high was 93 degrees (34 Celsius).

Responders set up a tent on the hull and began drilling additional holes, eventually making an opening large enough to insert a ladder and help the men climb out.

"It was like connect-the-dots," Reed said of the hole, which grew to 2 feet by 3 feet (0.6 meters by 1 meter).

The fourth rescue was a greater challenge. Reed said that crewman was behind glass in a separate engineering compartment on another deck.

The Golden Ray is now stuck in the shipping channel, closing one of the busiest U.S. seaports for shipping automobiles. One ship is unable to leave port and four more are lined up outside waiting to come in, according to ship-tracking website Marine Traffic.

A statement issued Monday by the South Korea foreign ministry said the crew members were isolated in an engine room. It said 10 South Koreans and 13 Filipinos had been on board, along with a U.S. harbor pilot, when the ship began tilting.

Position records for the Golden Ray show the ship arrived in port in Brunswick Saturday evening after making the short sail from a prior stop in Jacksonville, Florida. The ship then departed the dock in Brunswick shortly after midnight and was underway only 23 minutes before its movement stopped in the mouth of the harbor where it capsized, according to satellite data recorded by Marine Traffic.

Port officials were "working closely with the Coast Guard to reopen the channel," Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a statement after the final man was rescued.

The Coast Guard said it was notified of the capsized vessel by a 911 call at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

The cause of the capsizing remains under investigation. Marine Traffic shows the Golden Ray overturned as it was passed by another car carrier entering St. Simons Sound.

At the time, the skies were clear and the weather calm, with a southerly breeze of only 5 miles per hour, according to National Weather Service records.

Many of those rescued were taken to the International Seafarers' Center in Brunswick. Sailors arrived with only what they were wearing when rescued. A restaurant donated a meal, and the volunteer-run center provided the seamen with clothes, toiletries and Bibles.

The vessel is owned by Hyundai Glovis, which carries cars for automakers Hyundai and Kia as well as others.

Nearly 614,000 vehicles and heavy machinery units moved across Brunswick's docks in the 2019 fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Georgia Ports Authority.

___

Amy reported from Atlanta. Associated Press Writer Michael Biesecker contributed from Washington.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Rescuers pull 4th and final crewman alive from cargo ship
Coast Guard rescuers have pulled four trapped men alive from a capsized cargo ship off the Georgia coast
6:39PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Documents appear to show Sarah Palin's husband wants divorce
Court documents appear to show that the husband of former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is seeking a divorce
6:39PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Questions after police fatally shoot man who streamed chase
The fatal police shooting of a man who livestreamed himself being pursued by officers is raising questions about whether they could have used another method to stop him
6:09PM ( 32 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Trump promises report on his finances before election
President Donald Trump is promising to release a new financial report of his personal holdings to the public before the 2020 election
6:06PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Trump's North Carolina rally to be a test for his clout, GOP
President Donald Trump's rally in North Carolina will be more than just a measure of his clout in trying to elect a Republican to a key House seat
6:00PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Georgia's first 3 games have the feel of an NFL preseason
In what feel like the NFL preseason, No. 3 Georgia already has two blowout wins against overmatched opponents and goes into Saturday's game against Arkansas State as a big favorite
5:54PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Broken Columbia River barge lock means commerce chokehold
A critical ship lock on the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River is shut down for repairs, meaning barges that transport millions of tons of wheat, wood and other goods from the inland Pacific Northwest to Pacific Ocean export terminals can't move
5:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
UK's Johnson to suspend Parliament as his Brexit plans stall
British lawmakers demanded Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government release officials' correspondence about plans for Brexit, as the government prepared to suspend Parliament and send rebellious lawmakers home for five weeks.
5:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
Italy's Conte wins first confidence vote in Parliament
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has won the first of two mandatory confidence votes on his four-day-old coalition of rival parties
4:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Documents appear to show Sarah Palin's husband wants divorce
Court documents appear to show that the husband of former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is seeking a divorce
6:39PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Questions after police fatally shoot man who streamed chase
The fatal police shooting of a man who livestreamed himself being pursued by officers is raising questions about whether they could have used another method to stop him
6:09PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Number of border crossers drops amid Mexican crackdown
The Trump administration said Monday it saw a 30% drop in the number of people apprehended at the southern U.S. border from July to August, amid an aggressive crackdown by the Mexican government on migrants traveling north
6:07PM ( 34 minutes ago )
San Francisco offers $2.5B for PG&E's power grid in the city
San Francisco officials are offering to buy Pacific Gas & Electric's power lines and other infrastructure in the city for $2.5 billion
6:03PM ( 39 minutes ago )
For 9/11 families, mixed views on Trump-Taliban talks
Sept. 11 victims' relatives are greeting the news of President Donald Trump's now-canceled plan for secret talks with Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents with mixed feelings
6:00PM ( 42 minutes ago )