Salvage firm asks judge to halt rival’s removal of capsized ship and its 4,200 cars


SAVANNAH, Ga. β€” A maritime salvage company is asking a federal judge to stop the Coast Guard and a rival firm from carrying out their plans to remove a cargo ship that overturned five months ago on the Georgia coast.

The multiagency team overseeing removal of the South Korean freighter Golden Ray recently announced plans to carve the 656-foot-long ship into eight giant pieces that would be loaded onto barges using a towering crane in the waters of St. Simons Sound near tony St. Simons Island. Removal is to start soon after crews surround the wreck with a large mesh barrier to trap stray debris, expected to take about a month.

The Golden Ray heeled over minutes after undocking in the Port of Brunswick on Sept. 8, 2019, and its crew of 23 was rescued. It has been shorted up with thousands of tons of rocks to prevent it from listing further, and its nearly full fuel tanks have been pumped out.

A key part of the dispute involves the fate of its cargo of 4,200 cars.

The salvage company Donjon-SMIT filed a complaint Thursday in U.S. District Court seeking a judge’s injunction to stop any…

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