Golden Ray Operations Resume After Hurricane Isaias

Mike Schuler
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August 11, 2020

A crane positions the 16th and final lifting lug onto the hull of the MV Golden Ray in St. Simons Sound, Georgia, June 3, 2020. Weighing over 38 tons, the lug was, like the others, individually designed and manufactured to fit a specific section of the hull in order to stabilize it for cutting and removal by the 255-foot tall Versabar VB 10,0000 floating crane. St. Simons Sound Incident Response Photo

The Unified Command overseeing the salvage of the MV Golden Ray says operations have resumed following Hurricane Isaias.

The UC has since since placed resources back into position to continue work.

Although cutting and lifting operations have been postponed until early October due to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and hurricane season, the UC reminds the public that operations are very much underway and continuing.

“Our advanced planning for heavy weather paid dividends. We were prepared for Hurricane Isaias and are proud of the quick execution of our Heavy Weather Plan by our response personnel,” said Cmdr. Efren Lopez, Federal On-Scene Coordinator “There are many plans to execute and a lot of activity still going on as we prepare for the eventual cutting and lifting of the vessel itself.”

The wreck remains stable and is not expected to impact the deep water channel or to commercial ship traffic.

The VB 10,000 heavy-lift vessel, which has been modified specifically for the cutting lifting operation, will remain in the region and will eventually be mobilized to St. Simon’s Sound to begin cutting and lifting operations, currently slated for early October. These operation is expected to last for eight weeks from the onset barring any unforeseen obstacles.

“Responders continue to follow CDC guidelines strictly to limit coronavirus exposure and have adapted daily operations accordingly,” the Unified Command said in a statement. “Measures in place include daily health checks, required wearing of face coverings, safe-distancing and teleworking (whenever possible), self-quarantines for all incoming members, continuous disinfection of facilities and work platforms, and contact tracing protocols when necessary. On-site medical advisors constantly revise health safety guidance with respect to new information about the spread of the disease.”


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