VIDEO: Golden Ray salvage enters final stages

Written by Nick Blenkey
Golden Ray salvage operations

ugs prepare to position a dry-dock barge loaded with Section Three of the Golden Ray wreck under the VB-10000 during transloading operations on Friday. [St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.]

It ain’t over until it’s over—and the salvage of the capsized car carrier Golden Ray continues, though the end now seems in sight. Although the giant heavy lift catamaran VB-10000 has completed cutting the vessel into eight sections, responders still have to get all of the remaining sections out of St. Simons Sound, Ga., where the car carrier capsized and to a recycling facility in Louisiana.

On Sunday, wreck removal personnel transloaded Section Three of the wreck from a dry-dock barge on which it had been placed back in July and onto to the barge Julie B. The 400- by 130-foot Julie B can carry loads up to 4,200 pounds per square foot and is used to transit the wreck sections to the recycling facility.

Responders are making preparations to transload Section Six, the final section of the wreck, from another dry-dock barge to the Julie B following which the two sections will transit together to the recycling facility in Louisiana.

Meantime, nothing about the massive salvage operation is proving easy. During transloading operations on Saturday, the Julie B allided with the side of one of the VB-10000 pontoons. The VB-10000 did not sustain damage. Marine safety inspectors and response engineers assessed a 12-inch long by 4-inch wide crack in the side shell plating of the port bow of the Julie B above the waterline and repaired the damage on Monday.

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