Cargo Ship “Golden Ray” Salvaging Operations Resume After No New COVID-19 Cases Reported

In a recent development of the salvaging operations of the cargo ship, Golden Ray, the nine COVID-19 affected workers have now been cleared to get back to work.

This decision has come about after no new cases were reported in the operation crew following the first outbreak of the 9 workers. A spokesman for Unified Command, Micheal Von Stein said, “At this time we have not recorded any new infections and all the individuals have cleared their medical screenings and are returning to work,”

Coast Guard Chief Miller said that they were performing their own contact tracing using CDC guidelines regarding the pandemic. A number of people involved in the operations are currently isolating as a measure of precaution. “As a consequence of that, the timeline has shifted a little bit to the right”, he said in reference to the delayed razing of the shipwreck.

The mega South Korean freighter was to be broken down into 8 huge parts after it capsized off the coast of Georgia on the 8th of September, 2020. Over time, it was decided that the wreckage was too much to be removed intact. A floating crane is to saw the pieces off wielding massive anchor chains.

Golden Ray SavannahCorps
Image Credits: SavannahCorps

While the crane holds the shipwreck to slice it into pieces, the secured chains will lift up each section and place it on a barge for removal. The project is estimated to take about 7 weeks, not counting the debris clean-up in the water.

A protection barrier had been build three months prior to containing the 4200 vehicles caught inside the hull and the debris from falling out. The study piles that support the mesh-netting barrier is to hold off leaking fuels and other contaminants if any.

Golden Ray SavannahCorps
Image Credits: SavannahCorps

The sections were supposed to have been taken off by the 1st of June, 2020, but the onset of cases following the pandemic, the Atlantic hurricane, and unfavorable weather conditions have sidelined the operations that is now ready to take off before active hurricane season begins.

The cargo ship is currently lying on its side at St. Simons Sound. The heavy lifting crane (255ft) that will aid the sawing of the 656ft vessel arrived at the Fernandina beach in early July. Weather permitting, the crame will arrive at St. Simons by the end of the month after a journey through Nassau and Glynn counties.

The Department of Natural resources, Gallagher Marine, and the Coast Guard (forms the Unified command) have asked the owner of the cargo vessel, and its insurer to pay for what is turning out to be the most expensive salvaging project in the history of US.

The Unified Command was assigned to clean-up the damage keeping in mind the environmental guidelines established in 1990 (Oil Pollution act).


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