VIDEO: Golden Ray responders complete final cut

Written by Nick Blenkey
Golden Ray wreck sections are separated

The VB-10000 prepares to shift with Section Five on Sunday into a position favorable for lifting operations after separating the remainder of the wreck into two sections on Saturday. [Image from St. Simons Sound Incident response video]

Responders completed cutting operations on the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck on Saturday. The final cut came just a few days short of the two year anniversary of the September 8, 2020, capsize of the then 660-foot car carrier.

The capsize was followed by a dramatic rescue of four crew members who had been trapped within the ship and had to be extracted via a hole cut into the hull.

The decision not to attempt to right the 2016-built vessel but to disassemble it in place, in St. Simons Sound, Brunswick, Ga., in a procedure in which it has been cut into eight sections using a chain rigged between the twin gantries of the giant heavy lift catamaran VB-10000.

On Saturday, the final cut by the VB-10000 separated the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck into two sections, and responders preprepared to lift and stow Section Five onto a dry-dock barge. Once that section is removed, response engineers will prepare Section Four, the final remaining section, to be lifted and stowed onto the barge Julie B for removal.

Pollution response teams remain on-station to monitor for any oil or debris present around the perimeter of the Environmental Protection Barrier surrounding the wreck. Shoreline survey teams continue routine assessments of Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island and marsh areas in the vicinity of the wreck site.

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