Capsized Car Carrier Starts Lift

| November 29, 2020

Capsized Car Carrier MV Golden Ray

The MV Golden Ray is a 200-meter-long car carrier that capsized on 8 September 2019 in St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick in Georgia, United States. She was declared a total loss, and is being removed as scrap.

On Saturday, September 8, 2019, Golden Ray capsized within Port of Brunswick harbor. The ship departed the dock shortly after midnight and had traveled only 23 minutes when it started to list. All 23 crewmen on board as well as an American maritime pilot survived.

Representatives of the US Coast Guard said the investigation is complex and may take many months to complete.

Gun Bunny sends.

Update: First cut on the shipwrecked Golden Ray complete


The shipwrecked Golden Ray’s presence on the St. Simons Sound shrunk by about 104 feet and 3,100 metric tons Saturday morning, its recently separated bow hoisted from the water by the towering VB 10,000 crane vessel at around dawn.

The gargantuan chunk of the previously 656-foot-long shipwreck hung suspended in the arch of the crane vessel for several hours Saturday, prompting a steady stream of curious onlookers who braved constant rains from gray skies just to get a look at the three-ring spectacle from the St. Simons Island Pier. As the barge Julie B began patiently sliding between the VB 10,000’s twin hulls, a huge splash burst out of the water around 10:30 a.m.

It was only an SUV plunging from the exposed crosscut of the ship’s decks, just one of some 4,200 vehicles that were on board the Golden Ray when it capsized on its port side while heading out to sea on Sept 8, 2019.

“I can tell you, it was probably a car,” Chris Graff, of Unified Command’s Gallagher Marine Systems, shared with spectators on the pier.

But that is why the 1-mile perimeter mesh-net barrier was constructed around the shipwreck months in advance of this nuts-and-bolts phase of the salvage operation.

“That’s what the EPB is for,” said Coast Guard Lt. Command Dan Donovan, another Unified Command member who provided knowledgeable commentary on the pier. “The EPB’s doing its job.”

Salvors awaited early afternoon’s slack low tide, the optimum time for dropping the gargantuan chunk of steel from the nation’s largest crane vessel onto the largest barge in the United States. The barge Julie B will eventually back out of the east gate of the environmental protection barrier and haul the bow section away to its specially designed mooring on the Turtle River, above Colonel’s Island at the Port of Brunswick, said Graff, director of response services for Gallagher Marine.

No, that won’t buff right out. Read the entire article here: The Brunswick News
Reminds me of the Dutch salvage company Mammoet (Mammoth) and the raising of the Russian OSCAR class submarine Kursk, but without the excitement of torpedoes and nuclear reactors. Considering the wreck’s location that’s fine with me. Thanks, Gun Bunny.

Category: Coast Guard, Guest Link, It's science!

Comments (17)

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  1. Sparks says:

    This is why you always want to see that CARFAX report.

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    Been trying to keep a weather eye out for this story. Have a personal connection to the area from business and the many nights I laid over in and around Brunswick and the Islands. Used to hang out, after calls, on the beach and piers to watch the big ocean liners coming in and out of the port. Those are some beautiful, pristine areas along the barrier islands.

    When they FIRST announced the ship would be salvaged by chopping up inplace instead of uprighting/refloating/repairing, I thought, daHell?!? I thought of all the damaged ships at Pearl Harbor that had been redone and sent back to war, why they gonna chop this thing up? Guess it was cheaper/easier just to pay an insurance claim and walk away. Imma still digging around to find out what all of this is going to cost, and who is paying for it. Going by the story and the pictures, it seems as if all involved are doing a bang up job at it. Also goes to show that Americans can do anything.

    Thirty years ago, Lady friend used to design Ocean Going Car Carriers, along with bulk/container ships. They cost millions to build then, no clue what one would cost now. Plus 4200 plus luxury vehicles? And the total salvage cost? How many razor blades can you make out of that thing?

    • Green Thumb says:

      Or licensee plates and fishing hooks…

    • 26Limabeans says:

      Plant the stern in the sand next to that shiny thing in the desert.

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        It’s gone…and a pyramid of rocks is in it’s place. And we still don’t know if we had the cathode or the anode end.

        • 26Limabeans says:

          Probably the anode up top with the cathode to ground
          and running grounded grid. Some sort of solar thing
          going on for the plate supply. It’s an illegal CB amp.

          • 5th/77th FA says:

            Breaker, Breaker there Beaver Eater, you got a copy on The Big Gunz, Hello Come In? I got a grip on Limp Bisket, the SWRs are down, this Kicker is wired hot and we stepping on everybody out there. Put yo’self in the rockin’ chair and I’ll catch you and yore wiggle waggin’ at the chicken coop. That floatin’ portable parkin’ lot is down and out. KOB 0077 is Clear.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          We got the shitty end of the schtick.

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    I wonder how many sawzall blades they went thru.

    • KoB says:

      They used a specially designed “anchor chain” to saw thru it. FIRST cut was supposed to take about 24 hours, took a coupla weeks. Damn thing acts like an over sized chain saw. In one of the linkys there was a video of them moving the big piece out. Maybe one day we’ll see a utoob or documentary on the thing.

      If I was physically able, I’d be down there, watching it from the pier…or better yet, from the rig doing the work. Got a call into a buddy of mine that trained some of the divers working down there. He may be there his own self, might be why he hasn’t called back yet.

      • 26Limabeans says:

        “acts like an over sized chain saw”

        Imagine the file they use to sharpen it.
        Must take two guys to hold it.
        And getting the angle right is a bitch.

  4. Deckie says:

    Always hated car carriers. They handle like shit in heavy seas, and when stuff breaks loose…. well, you know..

  5. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Davy Jones’ Used Cars

  6. CCO says:

    I remember reading of one that capsized in the North Pacific a few years back. Salvage guys got it upright and into port.

  7. Mustang Major says:

    I took a few pictures of the shipwreck from the St. Simmonds Island pier this summer. Impressive sight.

  8. sj says:

    Here’s the official web site for this operation. Lots of pictures and explanations: