Heavy Lift vessel VB-10,000 en route to cut up Golden Ray

Twin-hull heavy lift vessel VB-10,000 moored at the Port of Fernandina, Florida on July 3rd for final modifications and function checks, her final stop before heading to St Simons Sound, Brunswick, Georgia within a week or so to cut up capsized car carrier Golden Ray.

Two 255ft gantries will use lengths of chain to slice Golden Ray into eight pieces, still containing the cargo, before lifting the sections onto barges, on which they will be transported to Louisiana for recycling.

Golden Ray ran aground shortly after leaving the Port of Brunswick last September. The decision was taken to cut up the vessel in situ because the vessel was unlikely to be able to withstand the pressures of being moved in one piece.

There remains an ongoing legal case between the original salvors and the consortium in charge of the current salvage, with a disagreement as to the best processes to be deployed to remove the vessel and its cargo from the current position.

The current salvors have installed 16 lifting lugs on the wreck to provide connection points for the VB-10,000 lifting operations. In the Port of Fernandina the final modifications to the rigging beams on the VB-10,000’s gantries will be made, followed by function checks. The heavy lift vessel will then head for St Simons Sound.

The configuration of the rigging beams underneath the top of the gantries will be modified to lift pieces of the Golden Ray’s hull from St. Simons Sound after winches on the sides of the forward gantry separate them from the capsized ship, for which 400ft lengths of chain will be used.