Capsized Cargo Ship Filled With Cars Sliced Open With Massive Chain

by : Daniel Richardson on : 03 Dec 2020 13:50
Capsized Cargo Ship Filled With Cars Sliced Open With Massive ChainCapsized Cargo Ship Filled With Cars Sliced Open With Massive ChainBarry Barteau, St. Simons Isl Vacation Rentals/Facebook

In September a cargo ship filled with cars capsized in Georgia. The result of this event has been a large scale recovery operation that has used unique tools to slice the cargo ship and get the vessel out of the water. 

Over 4,000 cars capsized with a 600ft cargo shipped called the MV Golden Ray in St. Simons Sound, Georgia earlier this year. The capsize was reportedly due to the cars being loaded in an unsuitable fashion, and it led to a large scale response from authorities who have had to dismantle and remove the wreckage.


To do this, a Versabar VB-10000 lift vessel was used and the huge contraption utilised a chain to slice through the wreckage so it could be removed.

Cargo to be slicedCargo to be slicedSt. Simons Sound Incident Response

The Versabar VB-10000 is an all yellow vessel with twin-gantries that can lift 7,500 tons. The mechanism is placed on barges and with four 1,000 horsepower thrusters, it is claimed that even more could be lifted if it was not for buoyance concerns. Interestingly a steel chain was attached to the gigantic lifting mechanism and it sliced the cargo ship into eight sections before lifting them out of the water.

A chain may not seem like an obvious cutting material, but with a length of 400 feet and each chain weighing 80-pounds as well covering 1.5 feet, the slicing has been successful. The cranes on the barges were used to lower one side of the chain and lift simultaneously to create a cutting effect. The result was largely successful, although at one point the chain did break because of fatigue. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

cargo capsize responsecargo capsize responseSt. Simons Sound Incident Response

The scrap metal has now been lifted on to the barge and will be taken to a recycling plant. At the port itself, the way cargo is loaded will likely go through some changes in the wake of the initial accident.

The recovery from this accident has offered a unique insight into the capabilities of the Versabaer VB-10000. With that said, many would probably hope that the lifting vessel is not seen in their local area as it would be indicative of a large scale accident.

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Technology, Georgia, Now, Tech