Utility tugs use seawater to flush sediment and reduce the weight of Section Three of the Golden Ray wreck during lifting operations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo

Another Golden Ray Section Removed

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 4624
July 7, 2021

Crews have cut and removed the first section of the Golden Ray since a fire broke out inside the wreck back in May.

Remaining are two cuts and three sections.

The latest section, known as Section Three, was lifted onto a barge over the weekend and transported to a facility near Mayor’s Point Terminal, where welders secured the section to cradles before its transport to a Louisiana recycling facility. Prior to lifting, weight-shedding crews removed 41 vehicles and a few movable decks from the section.

Wreck removal personnel are expected to conduct maintenance on the VB-10000 and the cutting apparatus prior to commencing cutting operations on the next section, Section Six.

Crews have also been working to clean-up an oil spill that occurred at the wreck site last week. An update from the incident command said pollution response teams continue to observe very light oil sheens near the Golden Ray wreck site, as well as oil bands on the perimeter of marsh grasses in the vicinity.

The Golden Ray lost stability and came to rest on a sand bar in St. Simons Sound, Georgia as it departed the Port of Brunswick with 4,200 vehicles in its deck all the way back in September 2019.

The wreck removal operation involves making seven cuts through Golden Ray’s hull using the heavy-lift vessel VB-10000, separating the wreck into eight sections for lifting and removal. With the exception of section-by-section weight shedding (i.e. removal of cars and debris), all vehicles have remained inside the wreck as each section is accessed and removed. All work is being conducted within an Environmental Protection Barrier that has been constructed around the wreck.

In May, a fire tore through the inside of the wreck, deforming the side plates of the lifting lugs attached to the topside of the Golden Ray and pausing the operation for two weeks while repairs were made.

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