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Responders commence maintenance and evaluation period before next cut

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders will prioritize maintenance operations throughout the week as they continue to assess the wreck site and equipment after removing Section One of the Golden Ray wreck. Response engineers continue preparations for the next cut.

Removal Update

Responders onboard the wreck of the Golden Ray conduct preparations in advance of the removal of the next cut: the stern section. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

The barge JULIE B safely moved to a local site where responders are in the process of sea-fastening Section One for further transit. The JULIE B will remain in Brunswick to receive Section Two, the third cut of the wreck. Once both sections are secured onboard, the barge will depart for a recycling facility in Louisiana.

Responders continue to make preparations and modify the VB-10000 for the next cut. Preparations include replenishing supplies onboard, making strategic preliminary cuts along the projected cut groove and replacing or refurbishing worn cutting equipment.

Health and Safety Update

Cmdr. Judson Coleman, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah's Executive Officer receives a report from Chief Warrant Officer Rick Baynor, a deputy for the salvage branch of the response on the completion of Section One removal. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders continue to report sightings of drones and small aircraft over the wreck site along with recreational vessels in or near the safety zone. The Unified Command requests the public to respect safety zones and not to distract response personnel.

Responders continue to diligently follow strict COVID-19 protocols in line with CDC guidelines and consistent with medical standards established by the Unified Command (UC).

Environmental Update

An on-water recovery team shows a piece of debris recovered from the vicinity of the wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique teams observe and recover a small oil globule during a survey of Jekyll Island, Ga. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Light oil sheening continues to be observed adjacent to the wreck during the daily aerial and on-water surveys. Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique (SCAT) teams discovered and removed several small, dime-sized globules of oil. No further remediation or mitigation actions were necessary.

Several vehicles and large debris fell into the water inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) during the separation and subsequent lifting of Section One of the Golden Ray wreck. Responders will conduct hydrographic surveys to identify the location of the debris to inform removal operations.

Responders continue to recover small pieces of debris, some oiled, within the proximity of the wreck and at the shoreline. 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.

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 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.


The 150-yard safety zone around the EPB 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.

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