Crews make final cut on Golden Ray cargo ship

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — It’s been exactly two years since the Golden Ray cargo ship capsized in the St. Simons Sound. The ship had 2,400 cars on board when it crashed on its side as it left the Port of Brunswick.

Ever since the crash, Jim and Veronica Ermish have been coming up from Jacksonville to track its progress.

”I told locals here, ‘I think you’re gonna lose your big tourist attraction once it’s gone,’” Jim said.

After rescuing more than a dozen people on board, crews scrambled to figure out how to dismantle a vessel of that size.

”I thought it looked pretty scary but a bit interesting to think the cars are still in there and can be moved,” Veronica said.

Petty Officer Michael Himes with the St. Simons Sound Incident Response says crews began cutting it into pieces to be removed. But they faced many hurdles. In May, the cutting process caused a fire; Himes says cleanup has been anything but easy.

”I know people have been wondering what’s been taking so long, and it’s such a highly complex operation taking place in such an extreme environmental environment, anyone here knows the tides are very wide, a lot of water comes in and out of the sound every day,” Himes said.

Himes told Action News Jax that section five of the Golden Ray will be put on a barge where it’ll be dismantled even further into smaller chunks. The final section, section four, will be put on the country’s largest barge known as the Julie B. Both sections will be taken to a recycling facility in Louisiana.

As for the Ermishes, they still plan on coming up to St. Simons Island even after the Golden Ray is gone.

”We’ll get a nice view of the sunset over here,” Jim said.

TIMELAPSE: Capsized cargo ship Golden Ray disassembled over 2 years