BRUNSWICK, Ga. - The operation to lift the final section of the Golden Ray wreck began on Saturday. Pollution response teams recovered debris during lifting operations.
Wreck removal personnel began lifting Section Four, the final section of the Golden Ray wreck on Saturday. A weight-shedding team will remove several vehicles as required to reduce the overall weight of the section prior to landing it on a dry-dock barge. Once lifted, the salvage master and the response engineering team will assess the condition of the bottom of the section, survey any damage and potentially modify the cradle system to allow for the secure loading and transport of the section to a local response facility for partial dismantling.
Sea-fastening to secure two wreck sections for an ocean transit continues aboard the Barge Julie B. Once inspected and cleared for departure, the tugs will haul the barge to a recycling facility in Louisiana pending a favorable weather window.
The VB-10000 hoists the final section of the Golden Ray wreck, Section Four, slowly out of St. Simons Sound on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Sea-fastening teams continue to secure Sections Three and Six to the Barge Julie B at Mayors Point Terminal on Friday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
The 150-yard safety zone around the EPB is increased to 200 yards for any non-response vessel transiting outside the shipping channel. The Unified Command (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.
Several response vessels standby around the perimeter of the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) during Section Four lifting operations on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Two responders recover a tire from inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) during lifting operations on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A response team stows debris recovered at the west apex of the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) during lifting operations on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Several responders recover entrained debris in the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck site on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A responder recovers a piece of debris from the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck site during lifting operations on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A responder bags a piece of debris during lifting operations on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Responders deploy a sorbent boom outrigger to mitigate light oil sheens in the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck site during lifting operations on Saturday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Approximately 12 response vessels recovered several pieces of debris and deployed sorbent boom outriggers to mitigate oil sheens observed during lifting operations on Saturday. On-water response teams maintain a 24-hour watch around the Golden Ray and they deploy pre-staged equipment and personnel to mitigate any oil discharges, sheens and debris observed. To learn more about the response on-water oil recovery program, watch this video Subject Matter Expert Overview – On-Water Oil Recovery Operations
Survey teams continue to recover debris along shorelines and from marsh areas in the vicinity of the wreck site. All debris is sorted, catalogued and disposed of according to the response debris 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.
Shoreline assessment teams survey over 100 miles of shoreline and marsh areas weekly for any oil impacts. If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, call the National Response Center hotline at (800) 424-8802.
Wildlife assessment teams continue to survey marsh areas and beaches throughout St. Simons Sound for any potential wildlife impacts. Oiled wildlife sightings have been minimal over the past month. If you encounter any oiled wildlife, do not attempt to capture it and report the sighting by calling (800) 261-0980.
Beaches remain open to the public and the Department of Health urges beach-goers to remain vigilant. For current beach and fishing safety information, please visit the Georgia Coast Health District website at the Georgia Coast Health District website.
Safety personnel continue to measure air quality in the community using stationary and mobile air monitoring equipment. Community air quality analysis and water sample analysis continues to confirm no exceedances of air and water quality standards. To learn more about the Air and Water quality monitoring program, watch this video Subject Matter Expert Overview – Air and Water Quality Monitoring
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 Golden Ray wreck removal and response operations.