Cutting operations start on Section Three

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders commenced cutting operations to separate Section Three of the Golden Ray wreck on Thursday.

REMOVAL UPDATE

Cutting operations to separate Section Three from the remaining Golden Ray wreck began on Thursday. The operations mark the start of the fifth of seven total cuts. Once separated, the section is planned to be stowed in a dry dock and transported to a facility at Mayors Point Terminal. Collected data from fixed monitors and hydrographic surveys confirms that the remaining wreck is stable.

Responders removed 53 vehicles and part of a moveable deck from Section Six on Thursday during weight-shedding operations.

Sea-fastening operations are complete on Section Seven of the wreck. After inspection by U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah, the section will depart Mayors Point Terminal pending a favorable weather window.

The cutting chain cycles along the cut groove between Section Three and Section Four and a worker uses a cutting torch to shorten the chain during cutting operations to separate Section Three of the Golden Ray wreck on Thursday. St. Simons Sound Incident response video.

Wreck removal personnel aboard the VB-10000 attach the cutting chain to the cutting apparatus block during preparations to commence cutting operations to separate Section Three from the remaining Golden Ray wreck on Thursday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Rope access technicians remove steel plating along the cut groove between Section Three and Section Four on the top of the Golden Ray wreck during pre-cutting operations on Tuesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A diver reaches for cutting equipment during pre-cutting operations along the cut groove for Section Three last week. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A material handler removes vehicles from Section Seven during sea-fastening operations on Tuesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A Fuchs MHL390 material handler equipped with a multi-tine grapple removes a vehicle from Section Seven during sea fastening operations at Mayors Point Terminal on Tuesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use a Fuchs MHL390 material handler to remove a vehicle from Section Seven during sea fastening operations at Mayors Point Terminal on Tuesday. The vehicles are stowed in a containment barge once removed from the section. St. Simons Sound Incident response video.

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

Due to the lower probability of oil discharges from the remaining wreck, responders replaced the Current Busters with floating barrier boom which has a lesser risk of wildlife impacts at the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) apexes. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders deploy a section of cleaned boom to be used in the protection system around Bird Island during routine Geographic Response Site (GRS) operations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A shoreline response team recovers a piece of debris during a survey near King Creek on Tuesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

On-water response teams continue to mitigate very light 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 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, watch this video Subject Matter Expert Overview – Debris Removal Operations

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, 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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