Crews complete final cut of Georgia shipwreck demolition

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Salvage crews have finished cutting apart the last two sections of a cargo ship that overturned along the Georgia coast two years ago, officials said Sunday.

The multiagency command overseeing demolition of the South Korean freighter Golden Ray said in a news release that the final cut was completed Saturday. Both massive chunks are awaiting removal by barge from the waters off St. Simons Island about 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of Savannah.

The Golden Ray capsized soon after leaving the Port of Brunswick with 4,200 vehicles in its cargo decks on Sept. 8, 2019. Wednesday will mark two years since the ship overturned.

Crews spent the past 10 months using a towering crane straddling the shipwreck to cut it into eight giant sections — using anchor chain to tear through the hull like a blunt-edged saw. Progress was slowed several times, most notably when the shipwreck caught fire in May and at the end of July when large amounts of oil gushed from the vessel’s remnants and fouled the shoreline.

Even after the last big pieces are gone, there’s still extensive cleanup to be done of debris that fell into the water during cutting and lifting of the larger sections.

The Golden Ray had more than 4,200 cars and vehicles inside its cargo decks when it capsized on Sept. 8, 2019, shortly after departing the Port of Brunswick. The entire crew was rescued safely.

All cutaway segments of the ship have been loaded onto barges for transport to a scrapyard in Louisiana.

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