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Rescuers make contact with missing crew members aboard fiery overturned cargo ship off Georgia coast


A Coast Guard rescue team was finally able to make contact Monday morning with a cargo ship off the coast of Georgia where four members are still believed to be trapped.

The Golden Ray was reported in distress around 2 a.m. Sunday after it somehow rolled on its side and caught fire with 23 crew members and a pilot on board.

Twenty of the people were rescued Sunday.

Around 11 a.m. Monday, the Coast Guard announced that salvage crews had made contact with crew members still aboard and said an extradition is planned but provided no further information.

“They heard noises, but we can’t confirm that it’s signs of life,” Petty Officer 3rd class Ryan Dickinson said earlier Monday morning. “We can’t confirm that without going in and looking, but they did hear sounds.”

It’s unclear what caused the 656-foot-long, 106-foot-wide ship, which had just left Colonels Island Terminal, to flip and catch fire.

Several Coast Guard units, the Marine Safety Unit Savannah and the Salvage Engineering Response Team are assisting in the search for the missing crew members.

Dickinson said Sunday that no fuel spillage from the Golden Ray has been seen so far, but that officials are still wary.

“There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of people working to make sure we can get on there safely and also to monitor for pollution, to ensure there are no hazards to the public or the environment," he said. “It’s all kind of step by step."

With News Wire Services