BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Preparations for cutting operations to separate Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck continue on Saturday.
Wreck removal personnel completed maintenance on the VB-10000 and they continue to refit the vessel in preparation for separating Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck. Once the refitting process is complete, the VB-10000 will shift over the wreck for final rigging to begin cutting operations.
Welders continue to fabricate the cradles for the dry-dock barge set to receive Section Six once it is separated. Section Three remains stowed on a dry-dock barge at a response facility near Mayor’s Point Terminal. Three sections of the wreck remain inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB).
Aerial observers survey the Golden Ray wreck site on Tuesday. The remainder of the wreck will be cut into three sections and removed by dry-dock barges. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Crews on the VB-10000 reeve a travelling block and prepare to hoist the wildkat pulley onto a nearby work barge during refitting operations on Friday. The travelling block connects directly to the cutting chain as a part of the cutting apparatus. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A crane operator hoists a shot of grade 5 anchor chain from a work barge to the VB-10000 during refitting operations on Friday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
The VB-10000 lowers the lifting beams to a work barge for routine non-destructive testing during refitting operations on Friday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
The VB-10000 overnight crew respools the winches used to cycle the cutting apparatus with new wire on Sunday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Section Three remains stowed on a dry-dock barge surrounded by barrier boom at a response facility south of Mayor’s Point Terminal on Friday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah tour the dry-dock barge and fabricated cradles which will be used to stow Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck on Friday. 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.
Survey teams continue to recover debris from Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island shorelines and from marsh areas in the vicinity of the wreck site. In addition to debris related to wreck removal operations, shoreline clean-up teams continue to recover a significant amount of debris and litter unrelated to wreck removal operations.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts to protect our shoreline by the response shoreline teams and all the responders tasked with removing the shipwreck,” said Doug Haymans, Director of the Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “The beaches are cleaner than they've ever been.”
Personnel at the response decontamination facility empty a container and sort debris recovered during shoreline surveys on Monday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Decontamination facility workers sort through debris collected by shoreline survey teams during disposal operations on Monday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Shoreline survey teams recover a significant amount of entanglement debris during routine operations. The response has cataloged and disposed of almost 1,000lbs of entanglements in 2021. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Shoreline survey teams on foot and on response vessels recover significant amounts of different types of debris unrelated to the wreck removal operations from old tires and construction equipment to household litter. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Shoreline survey teams have recovered over 600lbs of debris from shrimp boat wreckage along Jekyll Island and St. Simons Islands. The shrimp boat wrecked near Fernandina, Fla. on June 9, 2021. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Amber Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems measures a piece of debris recovered during a shoreline survey near Myrtle Street Beach on St. Simons Island on Friday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
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. 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.
A composite image shows a damaged cable for a section environmental protection boom frayed by typical wear on the left and, right, the damage sustained by one of four cable locations along sections of boom used to protect Bird Island in St. Simons Sound, Ga. Response personnel quickly made repairs to the damaged boom and response managers filed a report with local authorities. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Environmental response personnel noticed damaged cable to specific sections of boom near Bird Island on Tuesday that was not characteristic to typical wear from current and tidal action. Responders repaired and replaced the damaged boom on Wednesday and filed a report with local authorities shortly after.
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.