GLYNN COUNTY, GA – It has been exactly two years since the cargo ship Golden Ray capsized in St. Simons Sound. The ship had 2,400 cars on board when it crashed sideways as it was leaving Brunswick harbor.
Since the crash, Jim and Veronica Ermish have traveled from Jacksonville to monitor his progress.
“I told the locals here, ‘I think you’re going to lose your big tourist attraction once it leaves,’” Jim said.
After rescuing more than a dozen people on board, the crews scrambled to find a way to dismantle a ship of this size.
“I thought it looked pretty scary but a little interesting to think that the cars are still there and can be moved,” said Veronica.
St. Simons Sound Incident Response Petty Officer Michael Himes said crews have started cutting it into pieces for removal. But they faced many obstacles. In May, the cutting process caused a fire; Himes says the cleanup was anything but easy.
“I know people are wondering what took so long, and this is a very complex operation taking place in such an extreme environmental environment, everyone here knows the tides are very wide, a lot of water sound goes in and out every day, ”Himes said.
Himes told Action News Jax that Golden Ray Section Five would be placed on a barge where it would be broken down even smaller into smaller pieces. The final section, section four, will be placed on the country’s largest barge known as Julie B. Both sections will be taken to a recycling facility in Louisiana.
As for the Ermish, they still plan to come to St. Simons Island even after the Golden Ray leaves.
“We’ll have a great sunset view here,” Jim said.
TIMELAPSE: The capsized Golden Ray freighter dismantled in 2 years
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