The Coast Guard dispatched eight units and was able to rescue 20 people from the ship within 10 hours, including the USA pilot of the ship, six South Korean crew members and 13 seafarers from the Philippines, according to Arirang.
The Korean Foreign Ministry and the consulate general in Atlanta said it will cooperate with the Coast Guard and related agencies to support the rescued crew and their family members, and to find out the reason for the accident and assist with the ship's recovery efforts.
The South Korean sailors emerged Monday from a hole drilled through the steel-plated hull of the Golden Ray, which flipped onto its side along the Georgia coast. It's owned by Hyundai Glovis, according to Reuters and the roughly 4,000 cars on the cargo ship are Hyundai and Kia vehicles that were slated for import.
People watch from Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach as the Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized in the background, off the Georgia coast.
The 200-metre-long Golden Ray was transporting vehicles when it capsized.
Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Some were hoisted into helicopters while others were lowered, in some cases by fire hose, into boats, he said.
Their conditions are unknown, but an extraction is being planned, VanderWeit said.
Salvage workers later confirmed that there were crew alive inside the vessel, and they communicated with each other through tapping signals in regular intervals, boosting morale on both sides.
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'It is our understanding that they are inside the vessel. And a language barrier made it tough for the preliminary rescue crew to speak with the trapped crew members, Heflin instructed AP.
The cause remains under investigation. officials said it isn't clear if weather conditions caused the ship to lurch.
The Coast Guard remained on the scene, trying to stabilize the ship, and they continued to search the waters surrounding the vessel, VanderWeit said.
"We're not sure exactly what occurred", Justin Irwin, commander of Coast Guard Station Brunswick, told the Brunswick News.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is looking into the incident.
Complicating issues was the shortage of energy to the ship and its maze of compartments and watertight doorways, Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Clayton instructed CNN.
Hurricane Dorian did brush past the Georgia coast last week before it was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. The coast guard said the overturned ship had not released any pollutants so far, but clean-up efforts were ready if needed. But four additional South Korean crew members remained trapped in the ship.
The ship, sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands, was bound for Baltimore, where it was expected to arrive Monday, according to MarineTraffic.com.