Responders working on the topside of the Golden Ray wreck drill holes along the cutline for Section Two. The perforations guide the chain in a straight line during cutting operations to ensure a precise cut. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Crews Prepare for Next Cut in Golden Ray Wreck Removal
Crews are getting ready to perform the latest cut in the Golden Ray wreck removal as the massive salvage operation continues more than a year after the car carrier ran aground.
The next part of the wreck removal will involve making a third cut through Golden Ray’s hull in order to separate and remove another section, called Section Seven. The Unified Command (UC) overseeing the operation provided an update to local officials and the public over the weekend.
As it stands, responders continue preparations for the third cut and advance preparations for additional cuts. Divers have been working to remove debris and sediment blocking the cutting chain from entering the cut groove, while crews working on the topside of the wreck are drilling holes to perforate cut lines for Section Two. Dive operations are unfortunately limited to slack tide conditions because of the strong currents around the wreck site. Once the cutting chain is in the cut groove, crews will tension the chain and make final preparations to commence the cutting operations, according to the UC.
Meanwhile, the UC also reports that the first of four dry dock barges arrived on Saturday. The dry docks will be used to stow and transport inner Sections Three, Four, Five and Six from the wreck site to a staging area along the East River where they will be partially dismantled before transiting to a recycling facility in Louisiana.
In total, the Golden Ray will be cut into eight large sections removal. The second section removed, called Section Eight, departed the Port of Brunswick last Friday secured to the Barge 455-8 for towing to recycling facility in Gibson, Louisiana by the Tug Kurt J Crosby.
Barge 455-7 now stands by to receive Section Seven once separated from the Golden Ray wreck, the timeline of which has not been provided. The Barge JULIE B will soon return to receive Section Two, prior to removing the inner sections, after it delivered Section One in Louisiana.
The Golden Ray was carrying about 4,200 vehicles when it lost stability and grounded in St. Simons Sound in Georgia as it departed the Port of Brunswick in September 2019. All vehicles remain inside the ship’s cargo holds and are being cut along with the wreck’s hull. The cutting and lifting operation is being performed by the heavy lift vessel VB-10000, which has been modified to carry out the work.
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