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Sunken Ship Carrier Salvage Proceeds Slowly

The VB-1000 cuts into the wreck of the Golden Ray. The operation is surrounded by a one mile long Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB). [St. Simons Sound Incident Response photo]

Posted on November 10, 2020

Dismantling and removal of the wreck of the capsized car carrier Golden Ray from St. Simons Sound, Ga., continues to prove a challenging task.

Responders are using 400 feet of chain to saw through the hull of the wreck of the Golden Ray. Each link of the chain is 1.5 feet in length and weighs over 80 pounds. [St. Simons Sound Incident Response photo]

As we reported earlier (see story), the heavy lift vessel VB-10000 began cutting operations of the bow section of the wreck, using some 400 feet of chain to saw through the hull at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Then, some 25 hours into the cut, one of the 1.5 foot long links in the cutting chain broke.

There were no injuries or damage to the VB-10000. Responders retrieved the chain and repaired the broken link while also inspecting the chain for any additional fatigue. They resumed cutting operations thereafter.

“The cutting process was carefully engineered and modeled, but it remains a highly complex operation,” said Deputy Incident Commander Tom Wiker of Gallagher Marine Systems .”This is the first of seven cuts. During each cut we will continue fine-tuning our cutting parameters, including speed and tension of the chain, to improve its efficiency. Though the cut is taking longer than expected, we’re gaining valuable knowledge that will guide the rest of this operation.”

Unified Command is closely monitoring approaching inclement weather and will implement appropriate plans based on the changing forecast.

The 150-yard safety zone around the Environmental Protection Barrier has been increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The UC advises mariners to steer clear of the perimeter. Officials prohibit any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) around the wrecksite. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.

Source: marinelog

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