The coronavirus pandemic is showing now sign of slowing down the salvage of the Golden Ray wreck in St. Simons Sound.
The Unified Command responsible for overseeing the operation says contractors have now started working around the clock in constructing an environmental barrier around the wreck and also preparing the wreck for the cutting and lifting operation.
Last week, contractor Weeks Marine installed the first of 36-inch diameter high-density polyethylene floating pipes between pile pairs that will support support the environmental protection barrier surrounding the M/V Golden Ray.
The HDPE pipe, which is foam filled and one of 36 segments in total, will float on the water surface between steel buoys constrained by the structural framing at each pile group. The barrier will secure and protect a floating offshore oil boom that will be installed outside of the pipe and will completely surround the wreck site throughout the salvage.
Meanwhile, a team from T&T Salvage has installed the first of 16 lifting lugs to the MV Golden Ray.
The lifting lugs will be used as a connection point between the rigging of the heavy-lift barge VB-10,000 and each cut-up section of Golden Ray. The lugs are designed to distribute the weight o each of the sections during the cutting and lifting operation to be performed by the VB-10,000.
The 656-foot Golden Ray was carrying about 4,200 vehicles when it lost stability and grounded in St. Simons Bay as it departed Georgia’s Port of Brunswick on 8 September 2019. All the vehicles remain trapped inside the inaccessible cargo holds.
Beginning Saturday, the St. Simons Sound Incident Response teams said contractors would begin nighttime operations “until further notice.”