Anchor chain cuts through sunken cargo ship to reveal 4,200 Hyundai...

A huge freighter carrying 4,200 cars was split with an anchor chain, more than a year after it capsized and failed on the Georgian coast.

South Korea’s 600-footer Golden Ray is finally scrapped after months of setbacks, with dismantling revealing the astonishing sight of the thousands of cars stacked inside.

On Saturday, spectators watched the demolition as the first piece measuring 104 feet and weighing 3,100 metric tons was dismantled after a series of setbacks meaning the job that was supposed to take only eight days took three weeks.

“This is our first important step in the withdrawal operation,” said Commander Efren Lopez, the US Coast Guard’s federal on-scene coordinator.

“We validated the overall removal method while continuing to refine our strategies to increase the effectiveness of the next six cuts. “

The giant ship will be divided into eight before being transported to Louisiana for recycling.

The front end of the Golden Ray vehicle transporter, with some of the 4,000 cars still on board, is waiting to be towed to a junkyard

South Korean ship Golden Ray is finally scrapped after months of setbacks, dismantling reveals the many cars stacked inside

South Korean ship Golden Ray finally scrapped after months of setbacks, dismantling reveals the many cars stacked inside

South Korean ship Golden Ray is finally scrapped after months of setbacks, dismantling reveals the many cars stacked inside

Over 4,200 vehicles remain on the ship's cargo decks and now officials are finally starting the process to remove it

Over 4,200 vehicles remain on the ship's cargo decks and now officials are finally starting the process to remove it

Over 4,200 vehicles remain on the ship’s cargo decks and now officials are finally starting the process to remove it

The complicated removal process has drawn criticism, as environmental groups in the region express concern about the possible impact it could have on the environment given some of the debris and oil that washed up on the shore during the cutting and lifting process.

“It’s a slow tear, not really a cut. They don’t want to puncture vehicles and release contaminants into the environment. The idea is that they want to overturn the vehicles as the chain rises up through the hull, ”US Coast Guard Commander DJ Donovan said in an interview last July when describing the cutting process.

The Golden Ray capsized in September 2019, shortly after leaving Brunswick Harbor about 70 miles south of Savannah.

Over 4,200 vehicles remain on the ship’s loading decks and now officials are finally starting the process to remove it.

A 400-foot anchor chain is used to cut sections, exposing the many Hyundai cars trapped inside the ship.

Giant floating crane, the VB-10000 lifted the first section of the wreckage while the barge JULIE B came to receive it.

The wreckage will be removed in a total of eight sections and this is the first major step in its dismantling.

A 400-foot anchor chain is used to cut sections, exposing the many Hyundai cars trapped inside the ship

A 400-foot anchor chain is used to cut sections, exposing the many Hyundai cars trapped inside the ship

A 400-foot anchor chain is used to cut sections, exposing the many Hyundai cars trapped inside the ship

The wreckage will be removed in a total of eight sections and this is the first major step in its dismantling

The wreckage will be removed in a total of eight sections and this is the first important step in its dismantling

The wreckage will be removed in a total of eight sections and this is the first important step in its dismantling

The lower half of the front section of the Golden Ray is covered in marine life after spending 14 months stranded in the sea

The lower half of the front section of the Golden Ray is covered in marine life after spending 14 months stranded in the sea

The lower half of the front section of the Golden Ray is covered in marine life after spending 14 months stranded in the sea

Each segment will be hoisted by a crane and then lowered onto a barge to be transported to a salvage yard on the Gulf Coast.

Cutting and lifting is handled by the VB 10,000, which looks like a giant arch of steel beams anchored to a pair of barges.

It is the largest crane of its type operating under the American flag, capable of lifting loads of up to 7,500 tonnes.

As it rides the wreckage, the crane uses chains to cut through the ship.

Cutting and lifting is handled by the VB 10000, which looks like a giant arch of steel beams anchored to a pair of barges

Cutting and lifting is handled by the VB 10000, which looks like a giant arch of steel beams anchored to a pair of barges

Cutting and lifting is handled by the VB 10000, which looks like a giant arch of steel beams anchored to a pair of barges

The rescue team expects each cut to take a full day, with a week needed to cut, lift and remove each giant segment.

The rescue team expects each cut to take a full day, with a week needed to cut, lift and remove each giant segment.

The rescue team expects each cut to take a full day, with a week needed to cut, lift and remove each giant segment.

A 400-foot anchor chain is used to cut sections, exposing the many Hyundai cars trapped inside the ship

A 400-foot anchor chain is used to cut sections, exposing the many Hyundai cars trapped inside the ship

A 400-foot anchor chain is used to cut sections, exposing the many Hyundai cars trapped inside the ship

An expert concluded that the Golden Ray (pictured above) tipped over because an unstable load left its center of gravity too high

An expert concluded that the Golden Ray (pictured above) tipped over because an unstable load left its center of gravity too high

An expert concluded that the Golden Ray (pictured above) tipped over because an unstable load left its center of gravity too high

The rescue team expects each cut to take a full day, with a week required to cut, lift and remove each giant segment.

“Frankly, it’s very slow,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Himes, a spokesperson for the command team. “The chain itself is moving about 7 to 8 feet per minute.

Himes said the noise was minimal because the chain cut below the water level, advancing upward.

The command has reserved an entire complex nearby until January 21 to isolate 100 rescue workers as protection against the virus

The command has reserved an entire complex nearby until January 21 to isolate 100 rescue workers as protection against the virus

The command has reserved an entire complex nearby until January 21 to isolate 100 rescue workers as protection against the virus

Golden Ray has been in St. Simons Sound for over a year. A model shows the impressive way it is taken apart

Golden Ray has been in St. Simons Sound for over a year. A model shows the impressive way it is taken apart

Golden Ray has been in St. Simons Sound for over a year. A model shows the impressive way it is taken apart

Teams erected a wire mesh barrier around the Golden Ray to contain leaking pollutants and falling debris – including the cars that were part of its cargo – during the cut.

This will be cleaned up once the rest of the dismantled ship is removed.

The ship’s demolition was delayed by a busy Atlantic hurricane season, a handful of coronavirus infections among members of the rescue team and an engineering glitch over how to anchor the crane.

Teams erected a wire fence around the Golden Ray to contain leaking pollutants and falling debris

Teams erected a wire mesh barrier around the Golden Ray to contain leaking pollutants and falling debris

Teams erected a wire mesh barrier around the Golden Ray to contain leaking pollutants and falling debris

The ship's demolition was delayed by a busy Atlantic hurricane season, a handful of coronavirus infections among members of the rescue team and an engineering glitch

The ship's demolition was delayed by a busy Atlantic hurricane season, a handful of coronavirus infections among members of the rescue team and an engineering glitch

The ship’s demolition was delayed by a busy Atlantic hurricane season, a handful of coronavirus infections among members of the rescue team and an engineering glitch

The command has reserved an entire station nearby until January 21 to isolate 100 rescue workers as protection against the virus.

The Coast Guard held hearings into the cause of the sinking earlier this year.

An expert concluded that the Golden Ray tipped over because an unstable load left its center of gravity too high.

Coast Guard Lt. Ian Oviatt said the ship lacked enough water in its ballast tanks, used to add weight to the bottom of a ship, to compensate for that of vehicles in its cargo decks above .

The next section to be removed is the stern of the ship, the aft section, to reduce the possibility of tidal changes in the sound that could affect the stability of the ship.

Response teams found small balls of oil on the shore, light oil spillage on the water inside and outside the environmental barrier, and debris, some of which was covered of oil, on both sides of the barrier and the shore, Himes said.

This weekend, while walking the shore, Altamaha Riverkeeper’s Fletcher Sams said he recovered at least 80 pieces of debris, including seat belts, melted plastic and other plastic parts from car interiors.

“The fact that the debris is cleaning up is an indication that the environmental protection barrier will catch some of it and not all of it,” he said, adding that he expects to see more debris when cuts inside the ship, which holds most of the cargo.

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