Golden Ray Wreck Removal Resumes After Broken Chain Connector

Golden ray
Cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck resume, Feb. 4 (St. Simons Sound Incident Response)

Published Feb 7, 2021 1:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

Salvors have resumed operations on the third cut through the hull of the grounded ro/ro Golden Ray after a cutting chain joining link failed, interrupting progress.

A joining link used to connect the chain to the rigging's pulley system failed on Wednesday, and the chain fell down into the cutting groove in the wreck's topsides. No injuries occurred during this dynamic evolution, and no other equipment was damaged. Technicians retrieved the chain and reattached it to the cutting apparatus, and the work resumed on Thursday. Response engineers estimate that the third cut is about 50 percent complete. 

In preparation for the fourth cut, divers continue to drill drainage holes along the cutting groove line for section two, the second section inward from the bow. The drain holes allow water and sediment to escape as the section is lifted out of the water, reducing the load. 

The cutting apparatus shackle hangs below the block after the attached joining link failed during cutting operations Wednesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

An example of the type of joining link used to attach the cutting chain to the cutting apparatus. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders retrieve the cutting chain and hoist it to the deck of the VB-10000 for inspection and reconnection to the cutting apparatus shackle. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A dry dock barge assisted by the Tug Crosby Star arrives in St. Simons Sound en route to a response staging site on the East River in Brunswick, Ga. This is the second of four dry dock barges to be used to stow and transit Sections Three, Four, Five and Six of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.