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VIDEO: Coast Guard is rescuing 4 crew members trapped in 656-foot capsized ship

Coast Guard and various support agency vessels respond to the capsized Golden Ray. (Chief Petty Officer Charlie Hengen, U.S. Coast Guard / Released)
September 09, 2019

The U.S. Coast Guard is carrying out a plan to extract the four remaining crew members still trapped inside a capsized cargo ship floating off the Georgia coast.

The Coast Guard command center in Charleston received a distress call early Sunday morning after learning the 656-foot Golden Ray had tipped onto its left side after attempting to execute a right-hand turn from leaving port in Brunswick, Ga., according to a press release on Sunday.

It is not yet known what factors caused the ship to capsize.

In a tweet, the Coast Guard announced its initial response upon learning of the capsizing vessel, detailing its efforts to rescue 20 of the ship’s 24 total crew.

“Coast Guard crews, along with partner agencies and commercial assistance providers, as well as South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Moran Towing made several rescues from the vessel at multiple points,” a Coast Guard spokesman said of the first response to the distressed ship.

The Coast Guard has provided regular updates of their efforts to assist the capsized ship, but it was not known what had happened to the remaining four crew members until salvage crews boarded the ship. The tweets reported the first contact by salvage teams and early efforts to assess the conditions of the stranded crew and plan their rescue.

The Coast Guard shared various videos of a helicopter landing on the side of the capsized ship and salvage team members rappelling along the side of the ship. The salvage teams had been working to find possible entry points on the underside of the ship when they heard the trapped crew inside.

The salvage crews were eventually able to drill a hole in the side of the ship in order to pass supplies through to the trapped crew members aboard.

A Sunday afternoon tweet shared video of some of the earlier rescue efforts, including one of the ship’s crew pulled up from the ship by a Coast Guard Helicopter.

The Coast Guard’s efforts to determine the best way to extract the trapped crew may still take some time as rescuers are looking for the safest possible solution.

It is not yet known how long it will take to rescue the remaining crew members or what continued supply efforts can be made to assist the crew while they remain trapped inside the ship.

According to Vessel Finder, The Golden Ray was built in 2017 and sailed under a Marshall Islands’ flag. The ship had made previous successful port calls, including one in Jacksonville, Fla. the day before arriving in Brunswick.