BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders resumed cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck on Wednesday. Weight-shedding operations removed several vehicles from Section Two.

Responders replaced rigging wires in the cutting apparatus after which they resumed cutting operations early Wednesday morning. Divers will lengthen pre-cut notches along cutlines for Section Two and Section Three to increase cutting efficiency during subsequent cutting operations.

Responders removed approximately 50 vehicles and one moveable deck from Section Two during weight-shedding operations this week. The vehicles and material are stowed on a containment barge inside the Environmental Protection Barrier and will transit to Mayors Point Terminal for offloading. Once offloaded, the vehicles will be taken to a nearby certified auto recycler for final disposal.

Cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck resumed Wednesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders work on the cutting apparatus during maintenance operations on the deck of the VB-10000, Feb 8. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use a Fuchs MHL390 material-handling machine to remove accessible vehicles and a movable deck from Section Two during weight-shedding operations, Feb. 8. The machine is capable of extending horizontally up to 70ft with a multi-tine grapple attachment and can remove loads of approximately 13,000lbs. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders remove marine growth from ocean boom during routine maintenance operations. In addition to challenges presented by extreme tidal shifts and swift currents, responders must constantly clean protective boom used in sensitive areas throughout St. Simons Sound to ensure it remains effective. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

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.

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 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.

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/

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders paused cutting operations on Section Seven on Saturday to conduct maintenance on the cutting apparatus. The Unified Command (UC) approved a weight-shedding plan for Section Two of the Golden Ray wreck.

REMOVAL UPDATE

Responders paused cutting operations late Saturday during a routine inspection and discovered wear on the wires used to cycle the cutting apparatus. Technicians will unreeve the blocks and replace the worn wires with replacement wire that is kept on-site. Technical experts estimate a two to four day pause to complete the maintenance work.

“Safety is the most important aspect of operations,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Efren Lopez, federal on-scene coordinator, “Pausing to maintain the cutting apparatus ensures continued safety of our responders and the public. At the same time, our wreck removal experts will continue advance work on subsequent sections to facilitate their safe and timely removal and transport out of St. Simons Sound.”

The UC approved a Weight-Shedding Plan for Section Two in order to reduce the weight of the section prior to removal. The plan calls for the use of a Fuchs material-handling machine with a claw attachment to safely grab and remove vehicles and large debris from the exposed side of Section Two. Responders will stow removed debris on a containment barge directly adjacent to the section during the operation. Divers completed drilling drainage holes along Section Two Sunday.

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

Responders rescued a brown pelican from a Current Buster on Sunday and transferred the bird into the care of experts from Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research who are on-scene as a part of the response.

Responders have continued to monitor for and respond to any oil sheens in the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck site and recover debris on the water and along the shoreline. The response environmental unit continues to collect water samples in the vicinity of the wreck site in accordance with the response Water Quality Sampling Plan.

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/

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders resume cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck.

A joining link connecting the cutting chain to the pulley system failed Wednesday causing the chain to fall into the cutting groove on the topside of the Golden Ray wreck. No personnel were injured during the failure and no additional equipment was damaged. Cutting operations resumed Thursday once technicians retrieved the chain and reattached it to the cutting apparatus. Response engineers estimate that 50% of cutting operations have been completed for Section Seven. Divers continue to drill drainage holes along Section Two.

Cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck continue Thursday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

The cutting apparatus shackle hangs below the block after the attached joining link failed during cutting operations Wednesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

An example of the type of joining link used to attach the cutting chain to the cutting apparatus. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders retrieve the cutting chain and hoist it to the deck of the VB-10000 for inspection and reconnection to the cutting apparatus shackle. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A dry dock barge assisted by the Tug Crosby Star arrives in St. Simons Sound en route to a response staging site on the East River in Brunswick, Ga. This is the second of four dry dock barges to be used to stow and transit Sections Three, Four, Five and Six of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

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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.

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/

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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