VIDEO: Golden Ray cutting picks up speed

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The hull of the wreck of the Golden Ray shows the progress of the Section One cut. [St. Simons Sound Incident response photo]

New video released by the St. Simons Sound Response Unified Command shows the technique being used by the twin-gantry heavy lift catamaran VB 10,000 to cut the capsized car carrier Golden Ray into sections.

As we’ve noted before, the process is somewhat akin to cutting through a cheese with a wire. but necessarily much slower. That said, the Unified Command reports that the cutting of Section One has progressed through the keel, where thick, dense structural steel is located. After gathering data and modifying operations to increase cutting efficiency, engineers expect cutting to progress more quickly through the remainder of the section.

Equipment to lift and remove Section One remains on standby.


Responders continue to report sightings of drones over the wreck site along with recreational vessels in or near the safety zone.

“Our crews are working under very challenging conditions. Recreational boats impeding the safety zone and drone activity in the area where our teams are actively working can be a distraction that leads to a mishap or injury,” said Incident Commander Tom Wiker, Gallagher Marine Systems. “We ask that people please respect the safety zones as they are in place for the safety of the public and responders”

Responders continue to diligently follow strict COVID-19 protocols in line with CDC guidelines and consistent with medical standards established by the Unified Command (UC).

Responders continue to recover small pieces of debris, some oiled, within the proximity of the wreck and at the shoreline. Light oil sheening continues to be observed adjacent to the wreck during the daily aerial and on-water surveys.

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