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U.S. Coast Guard to enter ship to rescue 4 Koreans

U.S. coast guardsmen are preparing to get on board a ship listing off the country's east coast on Monday to rescue four South Koreans trapped inside, as some of them apparently responded to rescue workers tapping on the hull, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

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

The 71,178-ton, Marshall Islands-flagged ship listed heavily portside at an angle of about 80 degrees in waters 12.6 kilometers away from a port in Brunswick, Georgia, on Sunday (local time). It was tilting at an angle of 90 degrees as of 4:10 p.m. (Seoul time), with the exact cause of the incident unknown yet.

Of the crew of 24, 20 have been rescued. The rescued comprise six South Koreans, 13 Filipinos and one American.

Kyun Jong-ho, vice consul-general in Atlanta, said the U.S. team will likely try to go into the vessel as early as 7 a.m. (local time), after determining that it's safe to do so.

"They anchored the ship yesterday. We'll have a U.S. team of experts examining the interior and think there will be specific actions as early as in the morning," he said.

The local Coast Guard used two tugboats to stabilize the hull and prevent it from drifting away.

Hours after the accident, rescue personnel tapped on the hull to ensure that the Koreans are alive, and some of them apparently responded three times, the ministry said.

"A lifeboat is on standby at night to continue tapping on the hull," the ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.

The U.S. authorities have not yet verified the exact cause of the incident. They plan to investigate it after the rescue operations are complete, the ministry said.

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

Earlier in the day, the ministries of foreign affairs and defense and related agencies held a meeting in Seoul to discuss the dispatch of a rapid response team.

"I direct all related agencies to make the best efforts to search for the missing," said Deputy Foreign Minister for Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs Lee Sang-jin, who presided over the meeting.

Soon after the accident, the South Korean Consulate General sent its personnel to the scene. In cooperation with relevant ministries and agencies, the foreign ministry was seeking to ascertain the cause of the tilting and providing consular support for Korean victims.

"The foreign ministry in close coordination with related agencies and the shipping company will continue to provide consular support to rescue the trapped crewmembers, offer support for their families, verify the cause of the accident," the ministry said in a statement. (Yonhap)


U.S. coast guardsmen are preparing to get on board a ship listing off the country's east coast on Monday to rescue four South Koreans trapped inside, as some of them apparently responded to rescue workers tapping on the hull, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

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

The 71,178-ton, Marshall Islands-flagged ship listed heavily portside at an angle of about 80 degrees in waters 12.6 kilometers away from a port in Brunswick, Georgia, on Sunday (local time). It was tilting at an angle of 90 degrees as of 4:10 p.m. (Seoul time), with the exact cause of the incident unknown yet.

Of the crew of 24, 20 have been rescued. The rescued comprise six South Koreans, 13 Filipinos and one American.

Kyun Jong-ho, vice consul-general in Atlanta, said the U.S. team will likely try to go into the vessel as early as 7 a.m. (local time), after determining that it's safe to do so.

"They anchored the ship yesterday. We'll have a U.S. team of experts examining the interior and think there will be specific actions as early as in the morning," he said.

The local Coast Guard used two tugboats to stabilize the hull and prevent it from drifting away.

Hours after the accident, rescue personnel tapped on the hull to ensure that the Koreans are alive, and some of them apparently responded three times, the ministry said.

"A lifeboat is on standby at night to continue tapping on the hull," the ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.

The U.S. authorities have not yet verified the exact cause of the incident. They plan to investigate it after the rescue operations are complete, the ministry said.

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

Earlier in the day, the ministries of foreign affairs and defense and related agencies held a meeting in Seoul to discuss the dispatch of a rapid response team.

"I direct all related agencies to make the best efforts to search for the missing," said Deputy Foreign Minister for Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs Lee Sang-jin, who presided over the meeting.

Soon after the accident, the South Korean Consulate General sent its personnel to the scene. In cooperation with relevant ministries and agencies, the foreign ministry was seeking to ascertain the cause of the tilting and providing consular support for Korean victims.

"The foreign ministry in close coordination with related agencies and the shipping company will continue to provide consular support to rescue the trapped crewmembers, offer support for their families, verify the cause of the accident," the ministry said in a statement. (Yonhap)




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