Photos: Versabar’s VB10,000 arrives at the Golden Ray Wreck Site

In a long-awaited move, Versabar’s unique VB 10,000 heavy lift vessel arrived on scene in the St. Simons Sound near Brunswick, GA on Tuesday morning, October 27.  [Scroll down for more!]

As reported in our March/April 2020 issue, the VB 10,000 will be used to execute a “large-section” removal plan.  The Golden Ray capsized and ran aground on its side near the ship channel between two coastal barrier islands as it was leaving port in Brunswick, GA on the morning of September 8, 2019.  A vast array of preparation has been undertaken to ready the vessel for removal since that time, under the direction of Unified Command, which consists of the United States Coast Guard, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and Gallagher Marine Systems.  [Scroll down for more!]

Extensive preparation work to date has included efforts to stabilize the wreck and counter erosion of its perch on the seafloor, removal of fuel oil from the ship to the extent possible, construction of an environmental protection barrier around the site, and the welding of 16 custom engineered lifting lugs to the upward side of the vessel to provide lifting points.  Seven massive chains have been run under the vessel’s hull, one at each of the cut points where the ship will be sawn apart for removal in eight sections.  [Scroll down for more!]

The VB 10,000 will be used to actuate the cutting chain, and lift each section onto barges for removal from the site.  Visit this link: https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/subject-matter-expert-videos to learn more about the overall salvage operation, including a short video featuring Versabar’s Marine Operations Manager, Matt Fish.

All photographs by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Himes – U.S. Coast Guard District 7 PADET Jacksonville

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