Dismemberment work on wrecked car carrier Golden Ray has paused after 14 days of continuous work in order to carry out additional maintenance on the chain-cutting rig. The team are currently on their third “slice”. The vessel’s bow and stern have already been cut off and shipped by barge to a scrapyard in Louisiana.
The first cut took 20 days to complete, but, after revisions to the cutting rig, the second cut (for the bow) took just eight days, finishing on January 2nd.
The salvors began their third cut through the hull of the Golden Ray on January 26th, but the work has gone more slowly this time round. A pause was announced on Thursday February 18th, the second time in this particular slicing that a pause has been called. On February 3rd a connecting link failed and the chain fell down into the cut in the wreck’s topsides. No injuries occurred and no other equipment was damaged, and the rig was set up again and operating by the following day.
The heavy lift barge VB 10000 has been relocated over a deck barge, temporarily, to support maintenance on the cutting rig. That work includes “wire replacement in the rigging system,” according to the response command.
Because the third cut passes through the engine room there is an increased risk of pollution.
A separate team is working on the forward section of the ship, lightening the load by using a grapple to remove damaged cars from the hull. So far, 87 wrecked cars have been pulled out and landed on a barge for recycling. Divers are also continuing work on pre-cutting the hull for later sections in the sequence.
Golden Ray grounded and capsized in St Simons Sound, Brunswick, Georgia, on September 7th 2019.