Responders pause cutting to conduct maintenance

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Wreck removal personnel paused cutting operations to separate Section Three of the Golden Ray wreck to allow for routine maintenance on the wreck removal equipment. Shoreline survey teams observed a significant reduction in oil material along St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island beaches compared to the previous week.

REMOVAL UPDATE

Cutting operations to separate Section Three from the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck paused on Friday after a routine inspection revealed wear on one of the blocks in the Cutting apparatus. The VB-10000 was repositioned to receive a maintenance barge and personnel unrigged the cutting apparatus to make repairs. The required maintenance is a result of routine cutting operations. Once repaired, the cutting apparatus will be repositioned along the cut groove and cutting operations will resume.

Welding technicians are pre-staging material on the topside of the Golden Ray and are preparing to make repairs to the side plates of the lifting lugs for Sections Four, Five and Six. The side plates of the lifting lugs deformed due to heat generated from a fire inside the wreck on May 14, 2021. Response engineers will reinspect the lugs using non-destructive testing once the repairs are complete.

The MB-1710 barge receives a pulley block used to cycle the cutting chain for routine maintenance on Sunday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Welders pre-stage materials and equipment to repair side plates of the lifting lugs along Sections Six and Five of the Golden Ray wreck on Monday. Response engineers prescribed repairs to the deformed side plates of the lifting lugs for Sections Four, Five and Six as a result of engineering analyses conducted following a fire inside the wreck on May 14, 2021. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A welder begins to remove a deformed side plate from an aft lifting lug on the topside of the Golden Ray wreck on Monday. Response engineers prescribed repairs to the side plates of the lifting lugs for Sections Four, Five and Six as a result of engineering analyses conducted following a fire inside the wreck on May 14, 2021. 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.

ENVIRONMENTAL UPDATE

Shoreline team members recover surface residual balls of oil (SRBs) during a routine survey of Jekyll Island on Sunday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Joseph Wilson and Owen Voight of Gallagher Marine Systems use a resealable plastic bag to contain surface residual balls of oil (SRBs) recovered along the beach on Jekyll Island during a routine shoreline survey. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


Responders recover a vehicle bumper near Raccoon Key on Sunday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Shoreline clean-up and assessment technique teams (SCAT) observed significant declines in oil material along the beaches of St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island compared to the previous week. Most recovered oil material was in the form of hard, weathered surface residual balls (SRBs) 1cm or smaller in size. SCAT personnel also identified and treated several small spots of oiled marsh adjacent to St. Simons Sound using sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss is a natural oil mitigation treatment that binds to any oil and reduces any possible transfer to wildlife while aiding in the natural breakdown process of oil known as weathering. To learn more about the response SCAT program, watch this video Subject Matter Expert Overview – SCAT Operations

Shoreline survey teams continue to recover debris from the shorelines of Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island. 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. To learn more about the response debris program, watch this video Subject Matter Expert Overview – Debris Removal Operations

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

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.

Safety personnel continue air monitoring in the community using 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.

For more updates, please subscribe for email alerts at https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/subscribe

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