Cutting operations continue on Section Seven

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Cutting operations continue on Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck.

REMOVAL UPDATE

Cutting operations to separate Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck continue. Divers and personnel aboard the VB-10000 at the Golden Ray wreck site located and reconnected the cutting chain after the failure of joining links on Monday and on April 7, 2021. Responders replaced larger profile joining links with slimmer Kenter joining links in order to further optimize the cutting system. Wreck removal supervisors continue to perform routine inspections of the cutting apparatus and recommend equipment maintenance or replacement as needed. Collected data from fixed monitors and hydrographic surveys confirms that the wreck remains stable.

“Removing the Golden Ray is a highly complex and painstaking process. Each section presents unique challenges,” said Mauricio Garrido of T&T Salvage. “We will continue to make prudent and practical adjustments when we encounter difficulties and identify opportunities to achieve our priorities in a safer, more effective manner. Any lessons learned are quickly integrated into existing plans and procedures.”

Responders removed approximately 40 vehicles and 6 decks from inside the Environmental Protection Barrier using a crane equipped with a multi-tine grapple attachment during large debris recovery operations last week. Divers completed drilling additional drain holes for all remaining sections.

The Barge Julie B safely arrived at a recycling facility in Louisiana with Section Two on Friday.


Aerial view of cutting operations to separate Section Seven at the Golden Ray wreck site on Sunday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A responder finishes welding an oval-shaped Kenter joining link used to connect the 90-foot shots of R5 anchor chain used in the cutting system on Tuesday. Responders frequently inspect the joining links for wear during routine inspections and replace them as needed. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Still image from the VB-10000 monitoring system showing the advancement of the cutting chain along the existing cut groove on the topside of the Golden Ray wreck on Sunday during operations to separate Section Seven. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A close-up image of chain cutting progress and pre-cutting along the cut groove on hull-side of the Golden Ray wreck on Saturday during operations to separate Section Seven. Technicians use 6-foot cutting torches to weaken and remove material along the cut groove wherever possible. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A view of the chain progress along the cut groove looking down on the deck-side of the Golden Ray wreck during cutting operations before dawn on Saturday morning. Responders periodically pause cutting operations to inspect and maintain the cutting apparatus. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use a crane with a multi-tine grapple attachment to recover a submerged vehicle inside the Environmental Protection Barrier on Thursday. St. Simons Sound Incident response video.

A crane operator recovers a submerged loose deck using a multi-tine grapple during debris removal operations 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

Personnel aboard a response vessel inspect a segment of marsh along the Brunswick River during routine shoreline assessments on Sunday. Responders surveyed approximately 75 miles of shoreline last week by boat and on foot in addition to daily overflight observations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

On-water response teams continue to mitigate oil sheens and debris observed around the wreck site. Natural Resource Advisors continue to monitor areas around the wreck site and the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) for any wildlife activity or impacts. Survey teams continue to assess the shoreline to find and remove any debris or other environmental impacts. To learn more about the response debris program, visit www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com


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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