ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - The Coast Guard was able to rescue all four crew members trapped inside the capsized cargo ship.
The first two men were rescued just after 3 p.m. on Monday after being trapped inside the overturned shipped for over 30 hours. The third crew member was rescued not long after.
The last crew member trapped inside was a deck away from the other three crew members and behind a glass wall that made his rescue more difficult for the Coast Guard. Hours went by and finally the Coast Guard was able to get the last crew member out from the ship.
The Coast Guard said the temperature outside the ship was well over 100 degrees and inside the ship was much hotter.
The Coast Guard was able to drill a hole into the ship after finding the location of the missing men. USCG said they found the men's location by tapping along the outside of the ship and waiting to hear if the men could tap back.
Once the Coast Guard crew heard response taps they were able to drill a hole and use a borescope to see the missing crew members, according to the USCG.
The Coast Guard was also able to get some food and water to the three men that were rescued together. The fourth man's location was more complicated, but eventually they were able to rescue him as well.
Action News Jax reporter Russell Colburn spoke exclusively with Joseph Spears, a maritime expert, via Skype from Canada.
"I've been at this 40 years. I come from five generations of mariners," Spears said. "And I'd say, this is a miracle. It's incredible that this all could've happened this quickly."
"In the vessel, the crew had a plan that they could get somewhere that they could tap to the outside. And this is all dark," Spears said.
Spears added that, "If this had happened 10 miles off-shore or 20 miles off-shore, or in rough weather, we may not be celebrating the crew members."
The river keeper said that it could take weeks, even months to ger the ship out of the water.
Crews set up booms around the ship to contain any possible leaking fuel.
The riverkeeper in the area said that some fuel has been discovered in the water. She said, "It's looking like it's actually not coming from the actual fuel from the ship."
Now that everyone has been rescued from the ship, the Coast Guard has turned its focus to removing the Golden Ray and resuming commerce, and protecting the environment.
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