The 656-foot cargo ship was carrying 4,100 autos when it capsized in St. Simons Sound close to Brunswick in September 2019, leading to greater than $200 million in harm.
Wreck removing personnel Monday eliminated the ultimate part of the cargo ship Monday, the US Coast Guard Southeast mentioned in a launch.
The removing was “a troublesome and complex operation” and required specialists from world wide, Commander Efren Lopez, US Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator, mentioned in Tuesday’s replace.
“We’ve achieved a fantastic feat. Over the past two years we’ve rescued 23 crew members, 4 of which had been caught contained in the engine compartment for over 30 hours, none sustaining life-threatening accidents. Now we’ve accomplished the biggest wreck removing in US historical past,” Lopez mentioned at a information convention in Brunswick.
The cargo ship’s capsizing was brought on by incorrect calculations concerning the vessel’s stability, the Nationwide Transportation Security Board mentioned final month.
The NTSB additionally discovered two watertight doorways had been left open, which brought on the vessel to flood after it capsized. The flooding trapped 4 crew members who had been later rescued.
The rescue crew needed to navigate “excessive environmental situations.” mentioned Chris Graff, Response Director for Gallagher Marine Programs.
Crews have eliminated greater than 8,000 kilos of ship-related particles from the water and shore and 9,500 kilos of non-ship associated trash.
“So the seashores and marshes are most likely as clear as they’ve been in a few years,” Graff mentioned.
Matt Prepare dinner, Challenge Supervisor for TNT Salvage, mentioned a mile-long environmental safety barrier enclosing 30 acres was constructed “to attenuate the discharge of floating hydrocarbon and enormous items of particles.”
Employees started disassembling the wreckage in February 2020.
The salvage operation eliminated 45,000 brief tons of fabric, together with wreckage and dust, Prepare dinner mentioned.
John Maddox, Emergency Response Supervisor for the Environmental Safety Division of the Georgia Division of Pure Assets, mentioned it might take months or years for the St. Simon Sound to return to its baseline situation.
“Whereas air pollution menace continues to scale back, it has not been eradicated,” Maddox mentioned.
The Golden Ray left the Port of Brunswick at 1 a.m. on September 8, 2019, after unloading and loading autos and was on its approach to Baltimore. Because the vessel made a flip to the correct, it heeled rapidly to its left aspect, ultimately settling at an angle of 90 levels, the NTSB report mentioned.
In a public listening to final 12 months, Capt. Jonathan Tennant, who steered the ship out of the port, mentioned all the pieces appeared regular earlier than it capsized.
Fireplace, flooding and saltwater corrosion meant the ship was declared a complete loss estimated at $62.5 million, the NTSB mentioned in its report, and an estimated $142 million value of cargo was misplaced.
CNN’s Rebekah Riess, Melissa Grey and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.