Removal of Golden Ray suspended amid COVID-19 outbreak
Car carrier Golden Ray's removal operation was paused in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak among the on-site team, resulting in the quarantine of around 50 staff.
“While we are proud of the fact that our response protocols and responder discipline have held COVID-19 at bay until early July, COVID-19 has finally impacted this response,” said Incident Commander Tom Wiker of Gallagher Marine Systems.
St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command said Friday 24 July that the wreck's cutting and lifting operations will be postponed until after the peak hurricane season due to the latest developments.
The command revealed that 10 respondents had tested positive to date, and more than 50 respondents were quarantined due to contact tracing out of about 300 personnel.
“Impacts to response personnel warranted the Unified Command to reconsider moving forward with complicated cutting and lifting operations as the height of hurricane season looms. COVID-19 has been all or partially impactful on delays in the mobilization of response resources in the global supply chain, delays in the fabrication of necessary equipment such as lifting lugs, and delays in barge modifications,” he added.
Under the scheme, contractors are scheduled to cut the wreck into sections using the VB-10,000 floating crane to cut a large diamond-cutting chain through the hull. Seven cuts are planned, and eight wide sections are removed.
Every section of the Golden Ray, weighing approximately 2,700 to 4,100 tons, will be lifted by the VB-10,000 onto a barge, then transported for further dismantling and recycling to a certified off-site recycling facility.
“Response personnel and equipment will remain ready to respond with a variety of on-water resources should the need arise,” the command stressed.
In the region will remain the VB 10,000 heavy-lift, twin-gantry crane (VB 10K), specifically modified for cutting lifting operation.
VB 10 K will be mobilized to St. Simon's Sound to start cutting & lifting operations on or about October 1.
Maritime Business World