The VB 10,000 will handle cutting up the Golden Ray into pieces so that it can be removed from St. Simons Sound.

The mega crane vessel VB 10,000's journey to the St. Simons Sound and its appointment with the shipwrecked Golden Ray appears to be under way, according to marinetraffic.com.

At 1 p.m., the 255-foot-tall vessel had left the Port of Fernandina and was heading out the St. Mary's River into the Atlantic Ocean. The crane is tasked with the job of cutting up the Golden Ray and removing it from the St. Simons Sound, where it has sat half submerged since it capsized while heading out to sea with a cargo of 4,200 vehicles since Sept. 8, 2019.

The VB 10,000 had planned an evening departure Monday, but appears to have gotten under way ahead of schedule, said Coast Guardsman Michael Himes, spokesman for Unified Command.

The dual-hulled vessel will straddle the Golden Ray and use its powerful system of winches and lifting blocks to cut the shipwreck into eight sections, according to Unified Command. The vessel will hoist each section and load it onto a barge for hauling away, Unified Command said.

The VB 10,000's journey from Fernandina to the St. Simons Sound will take between 12 and 24 hours, Himes said. There is much preparation to do before the actual cutting and lifting of the shipwreck can begin.

The VB 10,000 is accompanied in its journey by the tugboats Crosby Star and Crosby Leader, according to marinetraffic.com.

Texas-based T&T Salvage is the contractor for the job of removing the Golden Ray from the sound.

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