ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Three crew members from a Dutch cargo ship were missing Tuesday night, hours after the vessel turned partly on its side while being loaded on the Hudson River, officials said.

Officials were unsure if the missing crew members remained in the ship or if they went overboard into the icy waters at the Port of Albany, where temperatures dipped to about 20 degrees.

“We believe they’re in the hull of the ship,” based on interviews with other crew members, said Detective James Miller of the Albany police. But he said it’s also possible they’re in the river.

City police and fire department rescue divers were pulled from the water for safety reasons Tuesday night as the 289-foot ship started taking on water, authorities said.

State police released a listening device to try to detect any sound or movement in the ship, which remained tethered to the dock at a sharp angle and appeared to be stable Tuesday night.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which took over the investigation, sent a 49-foot rescue boat up the river from Saugerties, about 40 miles south, and an investigative team was driving in from New York City, said Chief Petty Officer Dave French.

The ship, flagged in the Dutch Antilles, had loaded 661 tons of General Electric steel turbines bound for Italy and Romania, Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings said.

The ship tipped over as a 308-ton generator was being loaded around 3:10 p.m., according to the Coast Guard.

Eight members of the 18-person crew were removed from the river and suffered injuries like hypothermia, Miller said.

Seven others were rescued from the ship, some by helicopter.

The ship is a Stellamare, part of a fleet of eleven heavy-lift vessels ships belonging to Netherland-based Jumbo shipping company. The company’s web address, www.jumboship.nl is painted on the side of the ship’s hull.

Jumbo officials said the crew was Russian.

Two crew members were upgraded to serious and fair conditions at Albany Medical Center, hospital officials said. One hospitalized crew member was released Tuesday night.

AP-ES-12-09-03 2154EST



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