VIDEO: Seventh section of Golden Ray wreck removed

Written by Nick Blenkey
tugs remove section of wreck

The tugs Crosby Star, Caitlin and Kurt J. Crosby assist a dry-dock barge loaded with Section Five of the Golden Ray wreck to a local facility near Mayor’s Point Terminal on Sunday. One section of the wreck remains.[St. Simons Sound Incident Response photo]

And then there was one. The St. Simons Sound Incident Response reports that responders removed Section Five of the wreck of the capsized car carrier Golden Ray on Sunday. Now, after a more than two year salvage effort, only one of the eight sections into which the wreck was cut remains inside the Environmental Protection Barrier encircling the wreck site.

Wreck removal personnel lifted and secured Section Five onto a drydock barge on Saturday and tug crews transited the barge to the Mayor’s Point Terminal in Brunswick, Ga., on Sunday. After inspection by the response engineering team, the section will be staged for partial dismantling at a local response facility.

“We are very proud of the tremendous effort to maintain safety by each member of the response team throughout the entire operation to lift and remove Section Five of the wreck,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Efren Lopez, federal on-scene coordinator. “Even with the end of the wreck removal phase of this response in sight, we continue to prudently execute our safety, environmental protection and port function priorities.”

Crews aboard the VB-10000 heavy lift vessel began a maintenance period on Sunday in preparation for subsequent lifting operations. Prior to lifting Section Four, the final section of the wreck, two previously removed sections will be transloaded from dry-dock barges to the Barge Julie B by the VB-10000 and secured for transit to a recycling facility in Louisiana.

The 150-yard safety zone around the Environmental Protection Barrier is increased to 200 yards for any non-response vessel not transiting inside the shipping channel. The Unified Command (UC) advises mariners to steer clear of the perimeter to ensure the safety of responders and the public. Any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs) around the wreck site and near response facilities is discouraged for safety reasons. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.

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