The Latest: Coast Guard contacts 4 crew trapped inside ship

National/World

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on an overturned cargo ship off the coast of Georgia (all times local):

11 a.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard says rescuers have drilled through the hull of an overturned cargo ship and made contact with four missing crew members stuck inside.

Lt. Lloyd Heflin tells The Associated Press that the contact came Monday morning after rescuers rappelled down the side of the ship.

Heflin says “the early indication is they are on board and OK.”

He says the initial rescue team has faced a language barrier in communicating with the South Korean crew members. Heflin says rescuers are trying to figure out the safest way of getting them out.

The Golden Ray flipped onto its side and caught fire Sunday as it left the Port of Brunswick with more than 4,000 vehicles inside.

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10:20 a.m.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says four crew members are in the engine room of their overturned cargo ship awaiting help from a U.S. Coast Guard rescue team.

The foreign ministry’s statement also says the fire that prevented a rescue attempt is now extinguished. Coast Guard Lt. Kit Pace said Monday that rescuers have been able to board the ship.

The statement says 10 South Koreans, 13 Filipinos were on board, along with a U.S. harbor pilot, when the Golden Ray began tilting over in the shipping channel. The Hyundai Glovis company uses Georgia’s Port of Brunswick to ship Kia and Hyundai vehicles along with other cars.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 20 people but the fire and the instability of the overturned vessel kept them from venturing deep inside.

The ministry statement said some of the missing South Koreans “apparently tapped back three times” after Coast Guard staff tapped on the hull. A Coast Guard spokesman told The Associated Press on Monday that rescuers heard noises but can’t confirm they were signs of life without getting inside the overturned ship.

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9:55 a.m.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter has landed on the side of an overturned cargo ship off the Georgia coast, as the search for four missing crew members continues.

The helicopter landed around 9 a.m. Monday on the hull of the Golden Ray, which rolled over Sunday in St. Simons Sound as it left the Port of Brunswick with a load of vehicles headed for Baltimore.

Petty Officer 3rd class Ryan Dickinson told The Associated Press on Monday that rescuers heard noises but can’t confirm that they’re signs of life without going inside.

The Coast Guard and others rescued 20 people from the ship early Sunday before fires and unstable cargo made it too risky to go inside.

The ship is owned by South Korean firm Hyundai Glovis, which carries cars for automakers Hyundai and Kia as well as others.

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8:15 a.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard says rescuers have heard noises from inside a cargo ship where four crew members are unaccounted for after their huge vessel overturned and caught fire off Georgia’s coast.

Petty Officer 3rd class Ryan Dickinson told The Associated Press on Monday that rescuers heard noises but can’t confirm that they’re signs of life without going inside.

The flames and smoke have prevented rescuers from safely penetrating the unstable vessel.

The Golden Ray rolled over early Sunday in St. Simons Sound as it left the Port of Brunswick with a load of cars for Baltimore.

Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said 20 people were evacuated before the fires and unstable cargo made it too risky to go inside.

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