Salvage experts to haul overturned cargo ship away in pieces

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FILE – In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, a Moran tugboat nears the stern of the capsizing vessel Golden Ray as a tent and rescuers can be seen near the bottom of the ship near the tug boat in Jekyll Island, Ga. Marine salvage experts seeking to remove the overturned cargo ship close to Georgia’s seacoast will haul it away in pieces because it cannot be safely righted and refloated intact, their Unified Command said in a statement Saturday, Oct. 12. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Marine salvage experts seeking to remove an overturned cargo ship close to Georgia’s seacoast say they will haul it away in pieces because it cannot be safely righted and refloated intact.

Their Unified Command said in a statement Saturday that the hull of the 656-foot Golden Ray would be dismantled, along with the ship’s other components and cargo and taken away in what it described as a “complex situation.”

The Golden Ray overturned Sept. 8 near the Port of Brunswick. Rescuers drilled into the hull’s steel plates and rescued four crewmen trapped in the bowels of the ship more than a day in scorching heat and darkness.

The Coast Guard has said it would take “weeks, if not months” to remove the ship, which overturned while heading to sea.

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