The Latest: Removing overturned ship could take months

  • In this image released by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a crew member of the cargo ship Golden Ray as he is helped off the capsized ship Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 off St. Simons Island, Ga. A fire broke out aboard the ship early Sunday, listing it to the side and blocking the shipping channel. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

    In this image released by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a crew member of the cargo ship Golden Ray as he is helped off the capsized ship Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 off St. Simons Island, Ga. A fire broke out aboard the ship early Sunday, listing it to the side and blocking the shipping channel. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP) Associated Press

  • A member of a rescue party places a ladder in a hole cut in the hull of the cargo ship Golden Ray, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, after the vessel overturned while leaving the Port of Brunswick, Ga., early Sunday morning. Members of the rescue party were attempting to rescue four crew members trapped on the ship. (Terry Dickson/The Brunswick News via AP)

    A member of a rescue party places a ladder in a hole cut in the hull of the cargo ship Golden Ray, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, after the vessel overturned while leaving the Port of Brunswick, Ga., early Sunday morning. Members of the rescue party were attempting to rescue four crew members trapped on the ship. (Terry Dickson/The Brunswick News via AP) Associated Press

  • Rescuers work near the stern of the vessel Golden Ray as it lays on its side near the Moran tug boat Dorothy Moran, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Jekyll Island, Ga. Coast Guard rescuers have made contact with four South Korean crew members trapped inside the massive cargo ship off the coast of Georgia.

    Rescuers work near the stern of the vessel Golden Ray as it lays on its side near the Moran tug boat Dorothy Moran, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Jekyll Island, Ga. Coast Guard rescuers have made contact with four South Korean crew members trapped inside the massive cargo ship off the coast of Georgia. Associated Press

  • In this image released by the U.S. Coast Guard, a USCG helicopter hovers over an overturned cargo ship in St. Simons Sound, Ga., Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. The U.S. Coast Guard says rescuers have heard noises from inside the ship where multiple crew members are missing after their huge vessel overturned and caught fire off Georgia's coast.   (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

    In this image released by the U.S. Coast Guard, a USCG helicopter hovers over an overturned cargo ship in St. Simons Sound, Ga., Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. The U.S. Coast Guard says rescuers have heard noises from inside the ship where multiple crew members are missing after their huge vessel overturned and caught fire off Georgia's coast. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP) Associated Press

  • Smoke rises from a cargo ship that capsized in the St. Simons Island, Georgia sound Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News via AP)

    Smoke rises from a cargo ship that capsized in the St. Simons Island, Georgia sound Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News via AP) Associated Press

  • Visitors to driftwood beach watch a Moran tugboat near the stern of the vessel Golden Ray as it lays on its side as a tent and rescuers can be seen near the bottom of the ship near the tug boat, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Jekyll Island, Ga. Coast Guard rescuers have made contact with four South Korean crew members trapped inside a massive cargo ship off the coast of Georgia.

    Visitors to driftwood beach watch a Moran tugboat near the stern of the vessel Golden Ray as it lays on its side as a tent and rescuers can be seen near the bottom of the ship near the tug boat, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Jekyll Island, Ga. Coast Guard rescuers have made contact with four South Korean crew members trapped inside a massive cargo ship off the coast of Georgia. Associated Press

  • People are shown on Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach as the Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized in the background, off the Georgia coast, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019.

    People are shown on Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach as the Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized in the background, off the Georgia coast, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Associated Press

  • A U.S. Coast Guard boat rides in front of a cargo ship that capsized in the St. Simons Island sound, Ga., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019.   (Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News via AP)

    A U.S. Coast Guard boat rides in front of a cargo ship that capsized in the St. Simons Island sound, Ga., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News via AP) Associated Press

  • People look at a capsized cargo ship off the St. Simons Island Pier Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Ga. (Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News via AP)

    People look at a capsized cargo ship off the St. Simons Island Pier Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Ga. (Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News via AP) Associated Press

  • Coast Guard crews and port partners respond to a disabled cargo vessel with a fire on board Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in St. Simons Sound, Ga. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

    Coast Guard crews and port partners respond to a disabled cargo vessel with a fire on board Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in St. Simons Sound, Ga. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP) Associated Press

  • Rachel, left, and Sarah Mitchell look at their phones as they sun bathe on Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach as the Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized in the background, off the Georgia coast, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019.

    Rachel, left, and Sarah Mitchell look at their phones as they sun bathe on Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach as the Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized in the background, off the Georgia coast, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Associated Press

  • The Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized near a port on the Georgia coast, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Rescuers were searching Sunday for multiple crew members of the ship that overturned and caught fire in St. Simons Sound, Ga. (Buff Leavy/The Brunswick News via AP)

    The Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized near a port on the Georgia coast, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Rescuers were searching Sunday for multiple crew members of the ship that overturned and caught fire in St. Simons Sound, Ga. (Buff Leavy/The Brunswick News via AP) Associated Press

  • In this image released by the U.S. Coast Guard, a crew member of the cargo ship Golden Ray is helped off the capsized ship Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, off St. Simons Island, Ga. A fire broke out aboard the ship early Sunday, listing it to the side and blocking the shipping channel. The Coast Guard began pulling the four trapped crew members from the capsized ship, 20 others taken to land by by the coast guard. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

    In this image released by the U.S. Coast Guard, a crew member of the cargo ship Golden Ray is helped off the capsized ship Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, off St. Simons Island, Ga. A fire broke out aboard the ship early Sunday, listing it to the side and blocking the shipping channel. The Coast Guard began pulling the four trapped crew members from the capsized ship, 20 others taken to land by by the coast guard. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP) Associated Press

 
 
Posted9/11/2019 7:00 AM

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. -- The Latest on The Latest on an overturned cargo ship off the coast of Georgia (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A Coast Guard officer says it could take "weeks, if not months" to remove a cargo ship that overturned while heading to sea from a port on the Georgia coast.

Coast Guard Cmdr. Norm Witt told news reporters Tuesday that marine salvage experts are working on a plan to remove the 656-foot (200 meter) long Golden Ray from St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick. Asked how that would be done, he said: "We don't have all the answers right now."

Meanwhile, Witt says the Coast Guard is trying to reopen the port to limited commercial traffic by Thursday - though he called that timeline "aggressive."

He also said some oil sheen has been spotted but "right now it's limited in scope."

The Golden Ray capsized in the sound early Sunday while carrying more than 4,000 vehicles. The cause isn't known. All 24 people aboard the cargo ship were rescued.

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11:50 a.m.

The head of a company whose salvage workers rescued four crew members from a capsized ship off the Georgia coast says the men survived "hellish conditions" perched on pipes and plumbing above deep water in pitch darkness and oven-like temperatures.

Tim Ferris of the salvage firm Defiant Marine told The Associated Press on Tuesday the South Korean sailors "were being cooked" in the engine room of the overturned cargo ship Golden Ray with temperatures reaching 150 degrees (65.5 Celsius). He said rescuers had to stuff their own pockets with bags of ice to withstand the heat.

Ferris says the most daunting rescue was a crewman trapped in a control room with the door underwater. He was behind blast-proof glass designed to withstand an explosion. Rescuers had to use a diamond-tipped cutter to create an opening.

Ferris called it "a rescue of a lifetime."

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10 a.m.

One of the rescue coordinators who helped save four crew members from an overturned ship off the Georgia coast says the men are "doing well" after being trapped aboard the ship for more than a day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Salvage expert Sylvia Tervoort was part of a private team that assisted the Coast Guard in the rescues Monday of the South Korean crew members still aboard the Golden Ray. She told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday: "They were really exhausted when they came out."

Tervoort said the men waited roughly 30 hours for rescue in tough conditions - in the dark, breathing air filled with fumes in the ship's engine room, in sweltering temperatures of nearly 150 degrees (65.5 Celsius).

The Golden Ray rolled onto its side early Sunday after leaving the Port of Brunswick loaded with more than 4,000 vehicles. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Clayton says removing the ship will likely take weeks. The port remains closed.

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8:50 a.m.

Now that four crewmembers trapped inside a cargo ship capsized off Georgia's coast have been pulled to safety, the U.S. Coast Guard says it's focused on safely removing the massive vessel while protecting the environment.

Coast Guard rescuers pulled the four South Korean crew members from the Golden Ray on Monday after drilling through the hull's steel plates. All four were described as alert and in relatively good condition.

The rescues followed nearly 36 hours of work after the Golden Ray rolled onto its side early Sunday while leaving the Port of Brunswick with more than 4,000 vehicles.

The ship remains stuck in St. Simons Sound, closing the busy port while shipping hazards are evaluated.

Altamaha Riverkeeper, a group that works to protect water in the area from pollution, posted on Facebook that it will keep monitoring the salvage operations.

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