VIDEO: Giant heavy lift vessel preps for Golden Ray removal

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The twin-hull heavy lift vessel VB-10,000 will be used for cutting and lifting operations [Photo by U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer John D. Miller]

The largest heavy lift vessel ever built in the U.S., the twin-gantry, twin-barge catamaran VB-10,000, designed and owned by Versabar Inc., New Orleans, has arrived in the Port of Fernandina, Fla., to undergo final modifications and checks before heading for St. Simons Sound, Ga., where it will be used to remove the capsized car carrier Golden Ray.

According to the Unified Command (USCG, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Gallagher Marine Systems) working on the salvage project, the vessel’s two 255-foot tall gantries will use lengths of chain to cut the capsized vessel Golden Ray into eight pieces and lift them onto barges for transportation to Louisiana for recycling.

The Unified Command has been installing a total of 16 lifting lugs on the hull of the car carrier (two per section) that will be used as a connection point between the rigging of the VB-10,000 twin-gantry catamaran, and each section of the Golden Ray. The lugs are designed to distribute the weight of each section during the cutting and lifting operations.

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