Fire hinders Golden Ray salvage operations

TUG AND SALVAGE WEEK
Photo: St. Simons Incident Response

A fire erupted on the wrecked vehicle carrier Golden Ray in St. Simons Sound in Brunswick, Georgia, as salvage operations were ongoing on Friday, May 14.

The St. Simons Incident Response (SSIR) confirmed via a statement on its website that all non-essential responders from the heavy lift vessel VB-10000 have been safely evacuated and there are no reported injuries.

Responders were conducting pre-cutting operations and actively using fire suppression systems as a preventative measure when the fire ignited on Friday.

Firefighting vessels subsequently arrived at the scene. The US Coast Guard said the blaze on the vessel was extinguished later in the day on Friday.

Personnel have since been deployed aboard the vessel to monitor for potential fires as well as debris and oil spills while the 150-yard (137-metre) safety zone around the vessel has been increased to 200 yards (182 metres) for recreational vessels.

The SSIR said a post-fire assessment has been launched and will likely last several days.

A unified command led by the US Coast Guard has been engaged in salvage operations on Golden Ray, which caught fire and capsized in St. Simons Sound on September 8, 2019.

The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was declared by its owners to be a total loss in the weeks following the incident and has been slated for scrapping. However, the Covid-19 pandemic, the weather in the area, and various technical issues have repeatedly hampered salvage efforts.

See more stories from this month’s Tug and Salvage Week here.


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