BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders resume cutting operations on Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck.

REMOVAL UPDATE

Cutting operations to separate Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck resumed over the weekend. Divers successfully placed the new cutting chain into the existing groove on the hull-side of the wreck. Along the deck-side of the wreck, response engineers have established new cut line due to underwater interferences which prevented divers from inserting the chain into the existing cut groove. Responders continue to periodically pause cutting operations to inspect equipment and make adjustments when necessary. Collected data from fixed monitors and hydrographic surveys confirms that the wreck remains stable.

The Barge Julie B departed the Port of Brunswick on Saturday with Section Two enroute to a recycling facility in Louisiana.

A rope access technician cuts away strips of plate steel along the cutting chain path on Sunday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

An image of the chain progression along the deck-side portion of Section Seven on Monday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Technicians inspect cuts along the projected groove between Sections Three and Four of the Golden Ray wreck during pre-cutting operations on Sunday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

The Tug Kurt J Crosby pulls Section Two of the Golden Ray wreck aboard the Barge Julie B out of the Port of Brunswick on Saturday enroute to a recycling facility in Louisiana. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

The 150-yard safety zone around the EPB is increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The UC advises mariners to please steer clear of the perimeter to ensure the safety of our responders and the public. Any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs) around the wreck site and near response facilities is discouraged due to safety. UAVs are distractions that can lead to near misses, mishaps and injuries. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.

ENVIRONMENTAL UPDATE

Responders with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research release a rehabilitated laughing gull on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response video.

St. Simons Sound Incident response environmental unit leader Scott Jackson of Gallagher Marine Systems explains the Debris Assessment and Recovery Technique system implemented by the response. St. Simons Sound Incident response Video.

Response vessels implement sorbent boom outriggers during routine pollution monitoring and recovery operations around the Golden Ray wreck site on Tuesday. Each vessel is outfitted with equipment to respond dynamically to any observations of oil material or debris. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


Responders continue to observe and recover oil sheens and debris on the water around the wreck site. Natural Resource Advisors continue to survey the response area of responsibility (AOR) from the wrecksite and the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) to the shoreline as well as accompany each debris trawler to monitor for any marine animal or wildlife impacts. Survey teams continue to assess the shoreline to find and remove any debris or other environmental impacts.

If you encounter what you believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please do not handle the debris. Call the Debris Reporting Hotline at (912) 944-5620. Responders evaluate each report, survey the vicinity and recover any shipwreck debris in addition to their daily surveys of the water and the shoreline. If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, please call the National Response Center hotline at (800) 424-8802.

The Unified Command (UC) developed a multi-layer approach for observing, surveying, documenting and mitigating any releases of oil or debris during cutting and lifting operations. Recovery personnel are on-station at the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB), at the shoreline and on the water around the Golden Ray shipwreck. Responders are maintaining protective boom at sensitive locations around St. Simons Sound.

The St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command is the official source of information for the motor vessel Golden Ray response operations.

For more updates, please subscribe for email alerts at https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/subscribe

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders continue preparations to resume cutting operations on Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck.

REMOVAL UPDATE

Operations to align the cutting chain in the cut groove for Section Seven continue at the Golden Ray wreck site. Divers and responders aboard the VB-10000 completed the process of feeding a new chain into the separation between Section Seven and Section Six on Friday. Response engineers are using shots of R5 anchor chain which is the highest standard for off-shore mooring chains. Once aligned, cutting operations to completely separate Section Seven will resume. Collected data from fixed monitors and hydrographic surveys confirms that the wreck remains stable.

“Each step in the process of safely separating a section of the Golden Ray requires expert planning and preparation,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Efren Lopez, federal on-scene coordinator. “We remain focused on our priorities of worker and public safety while safeguarding the surrounding environment and the shipping channel.”

Responders removed approximately 100 vehicles from Section Seven and approximately 120 vehicles from Section Three during weight-shedding operations throughout the week. Weight-shedding is a multi-strategy approach which includes tactics such as vehicle and deck removal, drilling additional drainage holes and using water streams to mitigate increased weight in the sections due to large accumulations of sediment.

Sea-fastening teams completed operations to secure Section Two for ocean transit aboard the Barge Julie B and marine safety inspectors cleared the barge for departure following an inspection on Monday. The barge will depart the Port of Brunswick to transit to a recycling facility in Louisiana pending a favorable weather window.

A rope access technician inspects a fire hose connected to the deluge system installed on the topside of the Golden Ray wreck on Friday during preparations to resume cutting operations on Section Seven. For more information about the response fire fighting system please watch the corresponding video at https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/subject-matter-expert-videos St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


U.S. Coast Guard inspectors from Marine Safety Unit Savannah survey the Barge Julie B and Section Two of the Golden Ray wreck during an inspection on Monday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders recover debris inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) as weight-shedding operations on Section Three and VB-10000 rigging operations on Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck continue on Monday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

The 150-yard safety zone around the EPB is increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The UC advises mariners to please steer clear of the perimeter to ensure the safety of our responders and the public. Any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs) around the wreck site and near response facilities is discouraged due to safety. UAVs are distractions that can lead to near misses, mishaps and injuries. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.

ENVIRONMENTAL UPDATE

Response vessels hold formation around the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) on Tuesday to mitigate a light oil sheen that entrained outside the barrier during preparations to resume cutting operations on Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck. The on-water response team forms a vital dynamic environmental protection layer outside the EPB to ensure wreck removal operations continue safely while safeguarding the sound and the shoreline. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

An aerial image shows a protective booming arrangement around Bird Island in St. Simons Sound. Bird Island is one of 13 Geographic Response Strategy (GRS) sites around St. Simons Sound that meet criteria based on environmental sensitivity, risk of being impacted from waterborne spills and feasibility of successfully protecting the site with existing technology. Responders have maintained GRS sites since the start of the incident in September 2019. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A glob of oil is recovered outside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) during survey operations within the St. Simons Sound. Response personnel recovered all material upon discovery with no further recovery action necessary. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A glob of oil is recovered during a routine survey of a shoreline segment on St. Simons Island, Ga. on Friday. The response uses the Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) system developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to organize, observe and mitigate any environmental impacts to shorelines. The St. Simons Sound Incident response routinely surveys hundreds of segments along shorelines and marsh areas in the vicinity of St. Simons Sound with each segment measuring approximately 500 meters. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


Tavo Gonzalez of Gallagher Marine Systems recovers a piece of debris at the shoreline using a utility vehicle on March 24, 2021. Shoreline survey teams routinely monitor shorelines along Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, Cumberland and Little Cumberland Islands, Sea Island and within St. Simons Sound on foot, by boat, and in the air looking for any debris and oil that may be present in the area. The response deploys personnel to recover specific targets when surveyors discover material. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Luis Estrada sorts and documents debris recovered during shoreline surveys at a response facility on Monday. The response developed a debris assessment and recovery plan adapted from Shoreline Clean up and Assessment Technique (SCAT) protocols to identify and process any shipwreck and non-shipwreck debris recovered during shoreline surveys prior to disposal. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders recovered and released a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle during debris trawler operations on March 24, 2021. Natural Resource Advisors aboard the trawler inspected the turtle and determined that it was uninjured and unoiled. A lightly-oiled laughing gull was retrieved from a Current Buster on March 25, 2021, and transferred to a rehabilitation facility in South Carolina. Natural Resource Advisors are environmental scientists and biologists that routinely survey the response area of responsibility (AOR) from the wrecksite and the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) to the shoreline as well as accompany each debris trawler to monitor for any marine animal or wildlife impacts.

Responders continue to observe and recover oil sheens and debris on the water around the wreck site. Survey teams continue to assess the shoreline to find and remove any debris or other environmental impacts. If you encounter what you believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please do not handle the debris. Call the Debris Reporting Hotline at (912) 944-5620. Responders evaluate each report, survey the vicinity and recover any shipwreck debris in addition to their daily surveys of the water and the shoreline. If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, please call the National Response Center hotline at (800) 424-8802.

The Unified Command (UC) developed a multi-layer approach for observing, surveying, documenting and mitigating any releases of oil or debris during cutting and lifting operations. Recovery personnel are on-station at the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB), at the shoreline and on the water around the Golden Ray shipwreck. Responders are maintaining protective boom at sensitive locations around St. Simons Sound.

The St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command is the official source of information for the motor vessel Golden Ray response operations.

For more updates, please subscribe for email alerts at https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/subscribe

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders continue preparations to remove Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck.


REMOVAL UPDATE

Responders continue preparations on the VB-10000 to resume cutting Section Seven. Response engineers continue to collect data from fixed monitors and hydrographic surveys and they confirm that the wreck remains stable.

Responders commenced weight-shedding operations on Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck on Monday. Weight-shedding is a multi-strategy approach to mitigate increased weight in the sections due to large accumulations of sediment discovered during previous lifts. Weight-shedding tactics include vehicle and deck removal, additional drain holes and water streams to remove sediment. Each remaining section will undergo weight-shedding before and after each cut. The goal of weight-shedding for all sections is to remove enough weight to safely lift each section.

Sea-fastening operations continue aboard the Barge Julie B to secure Section Two for ocean transit. Once secured and inspected, the barge will depart Brunswick enroute to the ship recycling facility in Louisiana.

Video of Section Seven Weight-Shedding

Responders removed vehicles from Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck during weight-shedding operations. The Fuchs MHL390 materials handler is capable of lifting over 13,000lbs at a maximum horizontal reach of approximately 70ft. St. Simons Sound Incident response video.


Weight-shedding operations on Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck continue on Wednesday during preparations to resume cutting the section. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use a Fuchs MHL390 materials handler equipped with a multi-tine grapple to access and remove vehicles from Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck on Wednesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Response safety officers from Gallagher Marine Systems and the U.S. Coast Guard observe weight-shedding operations and ensure worksite safety practices are in place. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders inspect the interior of Section Seven for additional removal targets using a manlift during weight-shedding operations on Wednesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

VB-10000 personnel inspect a pulley block that supports one of two lifting beams used in the system that attaches to and lifts sections of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Rope access technicians drill guide holes along the cutlines for remaining sections during preparations to resume cutting Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck. The wreck removal is a highly complex endeavor with multiple operations happening simultaneously. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, center, receives an update from U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Efren Lopez, federal on-scene coordinator and incident commander Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems, right, about the removal of the Golden Ray during a visit to the wreck site on Wednesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

The 150-yard safety zone around the EPB is increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The UC advises mariners to please steer clear of the perimeter to ensure the safety of our responders and the public. Any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs) around the wreck site and near response facilities is discouraged due to safety. UAVs are distractions that can lead to near misses, mishaps and injuries. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.


Environmental Update

Responders transport ocean boom into service around the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) during routine boom maintenance operations on Wednesday. The boom is installed alongside high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe to contain any oil and debris at the surface of the water inside the EPB. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Response trawlers search for any subsurface debris that may have drifted through the large netting at the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) near St. Simons Island, Ga. on Wednesday. The trawlers are a part of a multi-layered environmental defense system designed to mitigate any oil and debris observed in the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck. Natural Resource Advisors accompany each trawler during operations to monitor for any impacts to marine life and any bycatch recovered by the trawlers is taken to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division for inspection. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

An aerial view of Section Two on Wednesday during sea-fastening operations to secure the section and the Barge Julie B for an ocean transit to a recycling facility in Louisiana. Preparations include fastening any vehicles and large material to the barge to avoid any shifting during transit. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders load protective boom fouled by marine growth onto a trailer on Tuesday. The response routinely inspects and maintains thousands of feet of protective boom used in the environmental defense system in St. Simons Sound. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders wash marine growth off of protective boom during routine boom maintenance operations at the response decontamination facility on Tuesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders load clean protective boom into a response vessel on Tuesday to redeploy it at one of many strategically located sensitive areas around St. Simons Sound. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders continue to observe and recover oil sheens and debris on the water around the wreck site. Natural Resource Advisers continue to monitor wildlife and marine life in the vicinity response operations. Survey teams continue to assess the shoreline to find and remove any debris or other environmental impacts. If you encounter what you believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please do not handle the debris. Call the Debris Reporting Hotline at (912) 944-5620. Responders evaluate each report, survey the vicinity and recover any shipwreck debris in addition to their daily surveys of the water and the shoreline. If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, please call the National Response Center hotline at (800) 424-8802.

The Unified Command (UC) developed a multi-layer approach for observing, surveying, documenting and mitigating any releases of oil or debris during cutting and lifting operations. Recovery personnel are on-station at the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB), at the shoreline and on the water around the Golden Ray shipwreck. Responders are maintaining protective boom at sensitive locations around St. Simons Sound.

The St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command is the official source of information for the motor vessel Golden Ray response operations.

For more updates, please subscribe for email alerts at https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/subscribe

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  • Media Inquiries:  912-944-7122

  • SME Videos: See here

  • Incident FAQ: see here

  • For current water and beach safety: Georgia Department of Public Health

  • Public Health Information: 844-863-0325

  • To report oiled wildlife:  800-261-0980

  • To report pollution:  800-424-8802

  • To report debris: 912-944-5620

  • Claims Information:  888-850-8486

  • Marine Safety Information Bulletin: MSIB 64-19

  • Community Outreach & Liaison Officer: 614.943.1970

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