Four crew members trapped inside the Golden Ray have been rescued, a day after the massive cargo ship capsized, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard said rescue crews had extracted the final crew member safely Monday.
“All crew members are accounted for,” the Coast Guard tweeted minutes before 6 p.m. ET. “Operations will now shift fully to environmental protection, removing the vessel and resuming commerce.”
Three of the crew members who were rescued were together in the same spot, Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said earlier at a Monday afternoon news conference. The fourth was stuck behind glass, enclosed in an engineering control room and had not had access to fresh water or food like the three others, he said.
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The Coast Guard rappelled down the side of the overturned ship and drilled through the hull, making a hole about two feet by three feet for the extraction, Reed said.
The initial rescue team faced a language barrier in communicating with the South Korean crew members, Lt. Lloyd Heflin told The Associated Press.
The crew members apparently became trapped in the engine room Sunday after the vessel overturned and caught fire in the early morning hours on the St. Simons Sound off the coast of Brunswick, about 80 miles south of Savannah.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said Sunday that the Hyundai Glovis cargo ship Golden Ray, which was transporting automobiles, had begun listing and then capsized. It was unclear how many vehicles were being shipped.
The Golden Ray, which is 656-feet-long, 106-feet-wide, was sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands, the ministry said.
The ship had 24 people on board, including 23 crew members and one pilot, the Coast Guard said.