VIDEO: Golden Ray responders well into second cut

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Cutting operations continue as responders start to separate Section Eight from the Golden Ray wreck using heavy lift vessel VB-10000. [St. Simons Sound Incident Response photo].

The St. Simons Sound Incident response team is now well into the cut that will separate the stern section of the capsized car carrier Golden Ray. Meantime, the bow section of the wreck, which was successfully lifted off the vessel at the end of November, was yesterday reported as nearing a Louisiana recycling facility aboard the barge Julie B.

The wreck is being cut into eight sections, using a chain manipulated by the giant catamaran heavy lift vessel VB-10000. The now removed bow was designated as Section One. The stern section is Section Eight.

Cooled by water, the cutting chain progresses through the deck of the Golden Ray wreck during cutting operations to separate Section Eight, the stern. St. Simons Sound Incident Response photo.

Following separation of the bow, responders spent some time on careful preparatory work before starting cutting operations on the second section of the wreck on Christmas Day.

This second cut could go faster than the first. As well as adjustments to the massive chain that will make the cut, preparatory work forthe second cut included pre-drilling by divers to weaken steel along the surface of the projected cut groove and to drill drainage holes at strategic locations along the stern to maintain stability and even distribution of weight when lifting Section Eight.

Responders continue to observe and mitigate oil sheens, small oil discharges and debris on the water in the vicinity of the wreck. Shoreline teams continue to recover residual oil and debris on Jekyll Island and St Simons Island. No further treatment was necessary after each recovery. The response environmental unit continues to collect water samples in the vicinity of the wreck site in accordance with the response Water Quality Sampling Plan.

The latest photos and in particular the video below released by the response team give some indication of the scale of the task.

Responder descends to a traveling block during a short maintenance pause. St. Simons Sound Incident Response video.
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