BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders recovered oil from the shoreline and inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) on Monday. Response managers expect several more days of clean-up operations. Local health officials urge beach-goers to be vigilant.
Response managers and the Salvage master paused lifting operations on Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck due to an oil discharge from the section on Monday morning. The discharge pooled inside multiple layers of retention boom around the wreck and was quickly collected by vessels equipped with oil skimmers. Despite mitigation efforts inside the EPB, some oil entrained beyond the barrier. Approximately 30 response vessels equipped with sorbents and towing Current Busters attempted to recover as much of the entrained oil as possible. Response operations paused due to severe weather on Monday afternoon. Safety stand downs due to severe weather have occurred almost daily since Saturday.
Lifting operations will be limited to conditions that are safe and favorable for the mitigation of any potential oil discharges. Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck remains connected to the VB-10000. The section will be lifted and stowed onto a dry-dock barge once it is safe to do so.
Approximately 70 personnel split into several shoreline clean-up teams are using various clean-up techniques to mitigate oiled shorelines along the south end of St. Simons Island, Ga. since Saturday. The teams use a variety of techniques from hand tools and bags to collect oiled sand to sphagnum moss and sorbent pads to treat oiled marsh grasses. 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.
Shoreline and wildlife assessment teams continue to survey marsh areas and beaches throughout St. Simons Sound for any potentially impacted shorelines or wildlife impacts. One lightly oiled, uninjured laughing gull was transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center on Monday.
If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, please call the National Response Center hotline at (800) 424-8802.
A shoreline clean-up team applies sphagnum moss to oil marsh grass near Wylie Street public beach access on Monday. Sphagnum moss is a natural adsorbent coating that promotes the natural breakdown process of oil while reducing the likelihood of any oil transferring to wildlife. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Multiple shoreline clean-up teams deploy multiple treatments to oiled marsh grass and sands near Wylie Street public beach access on Monday.. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A shoreline clean-up team fills bags of oiled sand to be removed from the beach near Massengale Park on Monday.. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Bags of oiled sand await pickup by shoreline clean-up teams near 11th Street beach access on Monday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Section Six lifting operations paused on Monday morning due to a discharge of oil. Response managers and the Salvage master will resume lifting operations during conditions that are safe and favorable for any pollution mitigation operations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A MARCO oil skimmer vessel attaches to retention boom around the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck in order to remove oil retained inside the boom on Monday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Two response vessels towing a Current Buster hold position at an apex of the EPB to collect oil on Monday. The barrier was designed in a diamond shape in order to channel any oil at the surface toward an apex during a flooding or ebbing tide. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
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.