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Home » Shipping » Extreme Engineering in Florida with Golden Ray Removal. 4,200 cars still on board

Extreme Engineering in Florida with Golden Ray Removal. 4,200 cars still on board

PortandTerminal.com, July 6, 2020

Twin-hulled heavy lift vessel VB-10,000 has arrived at the Port of Fernandina in Florida for its final modifications as it prepares to cut up and remove of the capsized Golden Ray in St. Simons Sound, Georgia.

BRUNSWICK, GA – The MV Golden Ray car carrier has been lying on her side in shallow water since capsizing in St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick in Georgia last September – 4,200 vehicles remain onboard. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

Car carrier lying on its side in the water.
The final netting of the environmental protection barrier, which goes around the ship, is in place. PHOTO: Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News

After analysis, it was determined that the car carrier must be dismantled in place and removed in pieces in its current position due to the weakened condition of the hull.

The twin-hulled, heavy lift vessel VB-10,000, the largest heavy lift vessel ever built in the U.S, arrived at the Port of Fernandina in Florida last Friday for its final modifications as it prepares to cut up and remove the capsized car-carrier.

The plan is to slice up the Golden Ray into 8 sections using chains as a type of saw that will tear through the ship’s hull. Each slice of the vessel will then be loaded onto a barge and be transported to Lousiana for recycling.

“The idea is the chain is going to go about seven feet per minute,” U.S. Coast Guard Commander D.J. Donovan said in an interview with The Brunswick News.

“It’s a slow rip, not really a cut. They don’t want to cut through vehicles and released contaminants into the environment. The idea is, they want to knock the vehicles out of the way as the chain makes its way up through the hull”

Side view of VB-10,000 heavy lift vessel
Each truss on the VB 10,000 is nearly 240 feet (73 m) at its highest point

An environmental protection barrier has been constructed around the wreck to mitigate pollution to the surrounding waters during the cutting and removal operation.

Golden Ray’s insurer North P&I has estimated the gross claim figure wreck to be in excess of $400 million, making it one of the biggest claims ever handled by the group.

Each cut made as the Golden Ray is sliced up into sections will take 24 continuous hours

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