VB 10,000 leaves St Simon’s Sound after finishing Golden Ray removal

At the end of a distinctly long-term relationship, giant heavy lift barge VB 10,000 departed St. Simons Sound, Brunswick, Georgia, USA on Monday November 1st.

After two years of salvage work that started in September 2019 and which en route required no little amount of working things out as they went along, the salvors have finally been able to offer the port community of Brunswick a scenic seaside view that many residents might have found it difficult to recall.

The VB 10,000 hoisted Golden Ray’s final section and loaded it onto a barge on October 25th. The one-of-a-kind (in the US) heavy-lift barge then headed out under tow escort on Monday.

As of Tuesday, AIS data showed that the VB 10,000’s towing vessel (the Crosby Leader) was under way off Florida, heading south at six knots.

The VB 10,000 will now be available once again for offshore oil and gas work, presumably in the Gulf of Mexico.

Work in St Simon’s Sound is not over The salvage team continue to pull up torn pieces of the vessel’s structure and dozens of the wrecked cars that were once part of her cargo. Once this task has been completed  the salvors will disassemble the mile-long environmental protection barrier that surrounds the site.

A separate scrapping team will cut the final two sections of Golden Ray’s hull into smaller pieces for transport. The final two sections were significantly damaged on the bottom-facing (port) side. This compelled the salvors to construct a pair of special-purpose cradles to support them. They will also need to be cut up before making the journey to a wrecking yard in Louisiana, they will have to be cut up.