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.
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."