Photo Release: Responders Lift Section One of the Golden Ray wreck

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders finished cutting and lifting Section One (the bow) of the wreck of the Golden Ray this morning. Preparations for the section to exit the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) on the Barge JULIE B are ongoing.

“This is our first major milestone in the removal operation. We validated the overall removal method while we continue to refine our strategies to increase the efficiency of the next six cuts” said Commander Efren Lopez, U.S. Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator. “Responders on the shore and on the water have vigilantly kept watch for and responded to any environmental impacts. We encourage the public to continue reporting any debris they encounter through the Debris Reporting Hotline and online form.”

Preparations for the second cut have begun. The wreck will be removed in a total of eight sections.


The VB-10000 crew lifts Section One of the Golden Ray wreck while the Barge JULIE B enters the EPB. Response vessels move in formation to quickly mitigate any oil and debris that may escape the EPB. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders lift Section One of the Golden Ray wreck using ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene slings that are as strong as steel at a fraction of the weight. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


Responders lift Section One of the Golden Ray wreck as the Barge JULIE B maneuvers into place inside the EPB. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


After separating Section One from the remaining wreck, the VB-10000 moved slowly and smoothly inside the EPB to a predetermined position for the Barge JULIE B transit underneath to receive the section. The wreck is surrounded by an environmental protection barrier with netting to the seafloor designed to catch large debris for removal. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


Responders recover debris outside the EPB during lifting operations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


Responders recover debris outside the EPB during lifting operations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


The Barge JULIE B is outfitted with custom fabricated cradles that match the profile of Section One precisely. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


The Barge JULIE B transits underneath Section One of the Golden Ray wreck. Response engineers accounted for approximately 6,000mt of load which includes the dry weight and projected sediment contained within the section during the lift. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


The VB-10000 lifts Section One of the Golden Ray wreck as the barge JULIE B maneuvers to receive it. Responders will secure the section and prepare the barge to exit the EPB. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


The VB-10000 lifts Section One of the Golden Ray wreck. The wreck is surrounded by an environmental protection barrier with netting to the seafloor designed to catch large debris for removal. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo and video. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo and video.


LIFT B-Roll Video

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The 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.

If the public encounters what they believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please do not disturb and 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.

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The 150-yard safety zone around the Environmental Protection Barrier is increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The UC advises mariners to please steer clear of the perimeter. Any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) around the wreck site is prohibited. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.

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/

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