Golden Ray salvage enters phase of wreck removal

The salvage of capsized car carrier Golden Ray (IMO 9775816) has entered the wreck removal phase, roughly four months after the ship grounded in St Simons Sound when leaving the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, USA.

The Unified Command (UC), which is coordinating the recovery process among several organizations, said on January 7th that Texas-based T&T Salvage has been hired to conduct the wreck removal.

The UC said that it was continuing to develop and refine the plans for the on-site dismantling of the vessel. It is coordinating to install a barrier around the wreck so that demolition can begin. USCG commander Matt Baer, the federal on-scene coordinator for the incident, said that “this is a big step forward in this response, but there is still a significant amount of work to be done. While we cannot operate without risk, the UC remains focused on mitigating the overall risk to the environment while ensuring the safe removal of the ship. The next phase will include construction of an environmental protection barrier. We have not made a decision on exactly what type of barrier will be constructed given the complex nature of the response, but we are close.”

DonJon-SMIT has now completed the lightering of fuel from the vessel. The rudder and propeller were also removed to reduce the chance of the vessel disintegrating under the stress of being grounded in the water for such a long time.

Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems, incident commander for the responsible party, said that DonJon-SMIT’s hard work and commitment throughout the project had helped ensure that one part of one of the most complicated marine casualty responses in US history had been achieved without any injuries or pollution.

It was hoped that management of the consequences of the accident would be over by the end of 2020. The Golden Ray partially capsized on September 8th last year shortly after leaving port en route to Baltimore, laden with more than 4,000 new vehicles. 2017-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 71,178 gt Golden Ray is owned by GL NV24 Shipping Inc care of manager Hyundai Glovis of Seoul, South Korea. ISM manager is G-Marine Service Co Ltd of Busan, South Korea. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of Hyundai Glovis Co, Ltd.