Maintenance begins to prepare for removal of Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - After the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa, responders resumed operations to prepare the VB-10000 to separate Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck. Shoreline survey teams did not observe any significant oil impacts during post-storm assessments. All personnel were secure during the storm and no accidents or injuries occurred.

REMOVAL UPDATE

Wreck removal personnel began the process of refitting and maintaining the cutting apparatus on the VB-10000 in preparation for separating Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck on Thursday. Once the refitting process is complete, the VB-10000 will shift over the wreck for final rigging to begin cutting operations.

Welders completed repairs to the side plates of lifting lugs on the remaining three sections of the wreck. Response engineers will conduct non-destructive testing and recertify the lugs for lifting operations.

Section Three remains stowed on a dry-dock barge at a response facility near Mayor’s Point Terminal. The section is currently being inspected by the salvage master and the response engineering team.

A maintenance vessel inspects the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) boom as personnel aboard the VB-10000 refit the cutting apparatus for cutting operations and welders continue making repairs to the lifting lugs on the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck on Friday. Three sections of the wreck remain. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Wreck removal personnel continue refitting the VB-10000 in preparation for cutting operations on Section Six of the wreck on Friday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Welders receive materials used to repair the side plates of lifting lugs on Section Four of the wreck on Friday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Section Three remains at a response facility near Mayors Point Terminal in Brunswick, Ga., 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 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.

ENVIRONMENTAL UPDATE

A shoreline team discovers two pieces of debris on St. Simons Island during shoreline assessments following Tropical Storm Elsa on Thursday. All debris is recovered, sorted and disposed of in accordance with the response debris processing plan. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Aerial observers, on-water recovery personnel and shoreline assessment teams observed and recovered small to medium-sized pieces of plastic debris in the vicinity of the wreck site and along local shorelines following the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa. 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.

Surveyors did not observe significant oil impacts during the post-storm assessments. Essential personnel aboard the VB-10000 maintained a pollution watch during the storm and did not observe any oil discharges. If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, please call the National Response Center hotline at (800) 424-8802. For current beach and fishing safety information, please visit the Georgia Coast Health District website at the Georgia Coast Health District website.

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. Natural Resource Advisors continue to monitor areas around the wreck site and the Environmental Protection Barrier for any wildlife activity or impacts. To learn more about the response on-water oil recovery program, watch this video Subject Matter Expert Overview – On-Water Oil Recovery Operations

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 motor vessel Golden Ray response operations.

For more updates, please subscribe for email alerts at https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/subscribe

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