BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders prepare to shift the VB-10000 and commence cutting operations on Section Two of the Golden Ray wreck.

Removal Update

A link in the cutting chain failed during cutting operations on Section Seven on Friday. Given the completion of cutline preparations for Section Two and to avoid further delay, the Unified Command approved a plan to shift the VB-10000 and begin cutting operations on that section. While the VB-10000 cuts and lifts Section Two, divers will survey Section Seven and install a system so that the cutting chain can be placed back into the cut groove. Response engineers confirm that the wreck remains stable and responders plan to return to Section Seven after Section Two is removed. The Barge JULIE B is expected to arrive in Brunswick, Ga. in approximately 10 days and will receive Section Two once the section is separated and lifted.

The VB-10000 moved off Section Seven to prepare for cutting operations on Section Two on Saturday. 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

A response vessel uses an oil skimmer to recover an oil discharge inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) during cutting operations on Thursday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A formation of response vessels using boom and an oil skimmer recover an oil sheen outside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) during cutting operations on Thursday. A critical layer of the response environmental defense system is the dynamic fleet of pollution mitigation vessels equipped to recover and contain any oil or debris that entrains under the EPB. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo

An example of a fresh oil glouble discovered and removed by a Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) team on the north end of Jekyll Island, Ga. on Friday. SCAT teams are equipped to remove any oil or debris upon discovery and recommend any further treatment of the area if necessary. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

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 resumed cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck on Thursday. Pre-cutting operations continue on subsequent sections.

Removal Update

Responders resumed cutting operations on Thursday after completing maintenance on the cutting apparatus. Pre-cutting operations continue along additional cutlines to increase cutting efficiency when the removal operation advances to subsequent sections.

Responders completed weight-shedding operations on Section Two removing approximately 100 vehicles and two movable decks from the section. The vehicles will be transported to and processed at two local, certified auto recycling facilities.

The Barge JULIE B will depart the recycling facility in Gibson, La. next week enroute to Brunswick, Ga. after workers successfully removed Section One. The barge will receive Section Two once the section is separated and lifted.

A view of Section Two after weight-shedding operations removed approximately 100 vehicles as cutting operations to separate Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck resumes. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use cutting torches to remove strips of hull-plating along projected cutlines during pre-cutting operations. Safety precautions during the operations include air monitoring and water misting using strategically placed fire hoses connected to the deluge system. 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 replace sorbent boom fouled with organic growth installed alongside protective boom placed at a strategic location along the Mackay River. The sorbent boom acts as a passive monitoring and collection system for any residual oil sheens from the Golden Ray wreck site that may travel up river during tidal cycles. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders have recovered several bird carcasses in the last month in the vicinity of the wreck site. Wildlife experts are investigating the carcasses’ potential origins and causes of death to inform strategies for mitigating any bird impacts. Unified Command employs a robust wildlife monitoring program to identify and mitigate any emergent threats to wildlife.

Responders continue to observe and recover very light 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 are carrying out maintenance on the cutting apparatus while weight-shedding and pre-cutting operations for subsequent sections continue.

Removal Update

The VB-10000 was repositioned over the Barge MB1710 to facilitate maintenance of the cutting apparatus, including wire replacement in the rigging system. The maintenance operations, once completed, will ensure the safe removal of Section Seven.

Responders have removed 87 vehicles from Section Two during weight-shedding operations. Divers continue to extend pre-cut grooves along the cutlines for subsequent sections.

Responders conduct maintenance on the cutting apparatus with the Barge MB1710 in between the pontoons of the VB-10000. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use a Fuchs MHL390 with a multi-tine attachment to remove vehicles from Section Two during Weight-Shedding operations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A diver exits the water during subsurface operations around the Golden Ray wreck. Response divers are technical experts for a variety of subsurface operations from surveys and inspections to cutting and welding. 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. Any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) around the wreck site is prohibited. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.

Environmental Update

A shoreline assessment team patrols Jekyll Island for debris and collects any foreign material encountered. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders continue to conduct regular shoreline assessments 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

KEY INFORMATION