Golden Ray Wreck Removal Plan Announced

Published Feb 5, 2020 3:33 PM by The Maritime Executive

The St. Simons Sound Incident Response Unified Command has announced its wreck removal plan for the capsized car carrier Golden Ray.

The 20,000 dwt Golden Ray capsized on September 8 last year while heading outbound from the Port of Brunswick with 4,200 vehicles on board. All crewmembers were rescued safely, though it took about 30 hours to free four crewmembers who were trapped in the vessel's engine room.

An environmental protection barrier will be built around the grounded vessel before it is cut into sections and removed. The barrier will include a large floating boom to help contain surface pollutants, as well as double layer netting to contain subsurface debris. Construction of the barrier will begin in about two weeks. 

“We recognize that the floating boom of the environmental protection barrier alone will probably not be enough to contain surface pollution when we cut into the hull,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Norm Witt, federal on scene coordinator for the response. “That’s why we’ll have crews and equipment, both inside the barrier and out, ready to respond.”

Contractors will remove the wreck using the VB-10,000 floating crane to cut through the hull with a large diamond-cutting chain. The plan is to make seven cuts and remove eight large sections. Each section of the Golden Ray, weighing approximately 2,700 to 4,100 tons, will be lifted by the VB-10,000 onto a barge, then transported to a certified off-site recycling facility for further dismantling and recycling. Each individual large-section cut will take approximately 24 hours.