Welding Operation Starts Fire on Golden Ray Wreck

Golden Ray

Published Jan 19, 2020 5:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

FirstCoastNews has reported that a fire started on the wreck of the ro-ro Golden Ray in St. Simons Sound on Sunday.

Contractors were welding inside the ship when the fire started. It was contained within the hull and quickly put out by the contractor's fireboat, according to an Altahama Riverkeeper spokesperson.

The 20,000 dwt Golden Ray partially capsized on September 8 while heading outbound from the Port of Brunswick with 4,200 vehicles on board. All crewmembers were rescued safely, though it took about 30 hours to free four crewmembers who were trapped in the vessel's engine room. The investigation into the cause of the casualty continues.

Salvors have already removed more than 320,000 gallons of oil and water mixture from the vessel.

The salvage effort for Golden Ray is particularly challenging as the wreck sits on its side on shifting sands and cannot be righted. In the initial response, salvors with DonJon-Smit stabilized the site with a blanket of rock on the bottom surrounding the ship, and a separate team from T&T Salvage has been contracted to demolish the vessel in place. A full salvage plan is yet to be released.