Responders complete cutting operations on Section Two

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders completed cutting operations on Section Two of the Golden Ray wreck on Monday.

Removal Update

Responders separated Section Two from the Golden Ray wreck on Monday. The section will be lifted onto the Barge JULIE B for preliminary sea-fastening for a transit to a response facility at Mayors Point Terminal in Brunswick, Ga. Once secured for ocean transit, the JULIE B will depart Brunswick enroute to the ship recycling facility in Louisiana.

“Section Two was cut and separated in seven days without any unplanned stoppages” said Incident Commander Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems. “The speed of this cut was a result of the structural characteristics of the section combined with the cutting technique and pre-cutting operations.”

Following the removal of Section Two, the VB-10000 will prepare to resume cutting Section Seven. Divers continue operations to insert the cutting chain back into the cut groove for Section Seven. Response engineers continue to collect data from fixed monitors and hydrographic surveys and they confirm that the wreck remains stable.

The cutting chain completely separates Section Two from the remaining Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

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 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 responder holds a piece of shipwreck debris recovered from St. Simons Sound during routine operations. Responders on the water and at the shoreline communicate closely within a standardized system designed to identify, mitigate and forecast any further debris impacts. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Response vessels hold position outside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) to recover any oil and debris at the water’s surface. The vessels are a critical dynamic component of the overall response environmental defense system which monitors and mitigates any environmental impact from the wrecksite to the shoreline. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A hydrographic survey vessel collects information to create imagery of the seabed around the Golden Ray wreck. Responders use the hydrographic imagery maps to monitor the stability of the vessel and the condition of the Environmental Protection Barrier netting. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders continue to observe and recover oil sheens and debris on the water around the wreck site. Natural Resource Advisers continue to monitor wildlife and marine life in the vicinity response operations. Survey teams continue to assess the shoreline to find and remove any debris or other environmental impacts. 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.

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 (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 St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command is the official source of information for the motor vessel Golden Ray response operations.

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