Nine people aboard one of the barges working at the salvage location of capsized car carrier Golden Ray (IMO 9775816) tested positive for Covid-19 late last week. They were placed under quarantine at their places of lodging in Glynn County.
Crew members who had been in contact with the nine were now themselves being tested, and were being isolated pending the results.
It was warned that this could delay by a couple of weeks the next phase of the project.
The Golden Ray salvage project has faced a number of challenges, given the nature of the accident and the method chosen to salvage the wreck. The addition of Covid-19 to the mix, while unsurprising given the spread of the virus within the US in recent weeks, will not be welcomed.
The barge on which the infected crew was working is being deep-cleaned.
The Unified Command team at St. Simons Sound off Brunswick, Georgia, where the car carrier ran aground in September last year after leaving port loaded with more than 4,000 used vehicles has said that more than 400 people and 70 vessels were involved with the salvage operation, which has an estimated cost in excess of $400m, making it the most expensive marine incident since Costa Concordia ran aground on a rock in January 2012.
Heavy lift vessel VB-10,000, which since July 3rd has been undergoing bespoke testing and modifications in Florida ahead of being moved to the site, has not seen its operations affected. However, its arrival date at St Simons Sound could be delayed from mid-July to late July. The Unified Command team, which consists of the US Coast Guard, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and Gallagher Marine Systems, with assistance from federal, state, local, and partner organizations, will hold its next briefing when the lift vessel is en route to the wreck site.
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.