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Responders continue to make preparations prior to cutting the next section.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders continue to make preparations prior to cutting the next section of the Golden Ray wreck, Section Eight, the stern. The Barge JULIE B prepares to transit to a recycling facility in Louisiana with Section One.

Removal Update

The Heavy-lift vessel VB-10000 moves into position over the Golden Ray wreck in preparation for the next cutting operation to remove Section Eight, the stern. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders continue to prepare Section Eight for removal and the VB-10000 will be moving into position this week for final mooring and rigging prior to commencing the next cutting operation.

Sea-fastening operations for Section One are complete aboard the Barge JULIE B. The barge will then transit to a recycling facility in Louisiana pending clearance by marine safety inspectors and favorable weather conditions. Once Section One is received by the recycling facility, the barge will return to Brunswick, Ga. and standby to receive Section Two.

Health and Safety Update

Six responders, who previously tested positive for COVID-19, will be returning to support the response after being cleared by the response medical unit. Though a few personnel remain in quarantine due to close contact with these responders, personnel critical to wreck removal operations remain unaffected and sequestered at Epworth by the Sea. Pollution monitoring and mitigation operations on the water and along the shoreline continue.

While at the response, personnel continue to follow guidance to limit exposure to COVID-19 which includes face coverings, safe distancing and remote working when possible, daily temperature checks for all members and continuous disinfection of facilities and platforms. All incoming personnel are mandated to sequester and receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to working. Response sequestration, quarantine and isolation protocols were developed in consultation with a local department of health epidemiologist and follow CDC guidelines.

Environmental Update

Responder recovers a piece of small debris in the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck site. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders continue to observe and recover light oil sheens and 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 the debris 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 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 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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