Coast Guard: Removal of Golden Ray could take more than a year


(BRUNSWICK, Ga.) — The removal of the capsized vehicle carrier Golden Ray from St. Simons Sound could take more than a year, a U.S. Coast Guard official told local leaders last week, The Brunswick News reported.

Cmdr. Matt Baer, a member of the unified command tasked with removing the 656-foot ship, spoke at Wednesday’s Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce meeting. Golden Ray capsized on Sept. 8.

The ship has been slowly sinking in the sand because of powerful tides. About a quarter of the ship is embedded in sand more than 20 feet deep, making it impossible to upright the vessel without it breaking apart and creating an even bigger problem, Baer said.

“It’s going to be a while. We want to do this right,” he said.

The rate of sinking into the sand has been slowed considerably after large rocks were dumped around the ship to keep it from shifting during incoming and outgoing tides, he said. A plan to dismantle Golden Ray and remove an estimated 4,200 vehicles is still being developed and should be ready in coming weeks.

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By Professional Mariner Staff