3 of 4 Korean crew members rescued from capsized vessel off U.S. coast

WASHINGTON-- Three of four Korean crew members trapped inside a capsized vessel off the U.S. east coast were rescued on Monday, more than a day after the ship overturned, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard earlier confirmed that all four were alive inside the Golden Ray and rescuers were working to safely remove them.

In a press briefing later, Coast Guard officials said three had been rescued and were being taken to a hospital.

The crew were the only ones left inside the Golden Ray after the cargo vessel flipped onto its side as it left the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, on Sunday.

Twenty others were rescued. The exact cause of the accident is yet unknown.

In a tweet earlier Monday, the Coast Guard said the four crew members' conditions were unknown, but that response crews would drill a hole in the ship to deliver supplies.

The Coast Guard and salvage crews are "developing an extraction plan to safely rescue the 4 #GoldenRay crew members. This is a slow, but safe process," it added.

Contact was made after rescuers drilled a hole into the side of the ship and inserted equipment to check the air condition and send signals, a South Korean official at the consulate general in Atlanta, Georgia, told Yonhap News Agency earlier, quoting a Coast Guard spokesman.

"They received signals (from the crew members) at regular intervals of 20 to 30 minutes," he said.

The Koreans were presumed to be caught in the engine room of the car transport vessel belonging to Hyundai Glovis Co., a logistics unit of South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group.

The 71,178-ton, Marshall Islands-flagged ship listed heavily to port in waters 12.6 kilometers away from the port.

The South Korean government has sent a rapid response team consisting of eight people, including three from the foreign ministry in Seoul.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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