Responders remove Section Eight of the Golden Ray wreck

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders completed the removal of Section Eight, the stern, today. The VB-10000 lifted the section on to the Barge 455-8 on Monday, followed by ballasting of the barge and sea-fastening operations overnight. The barge then transited with the section to Mayor’s Point Terminal on Tuesday morning. The section will undergo further sea-fastening at the terminal before transiting aboard the Barge 455-8 to a recycling facility in Louisiana. On-water response teams recovered oil released from the wreck during lifting operations.

“Due to this cut’s proximity to the engine room, we expected to encounter residual oil/petroleum products inside tanks, piping and machinery which could not be accessed in the fuel removal phase of the response. The response team was fully prepared and in position to respond throughout the entire cut and lift.” said Incident Commander Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems.

“What we observed during this operation is exactly why we have the protection barrier and a dynamic fleet of oil response vessels. The pollution response team has been refining their operations for months and that paid off with their swift response to the product released from the wreck during the lift.” said U.S. Coast Guard Commander Efren Lopez, Federal On-scene Coordinator

“Shoreline teams are out every day to keep our beaches and marshes clear of debris and other impacts” said John Maddox, Georgia DNR Coastal Resources Division, State On-Scene Coordinator. “A rigorous environmental monitoring program including water quality monitoring and wildlife surveys, is in place to ensure the continued health of St. Simon’s Sound.”

“This cut progressed much faster than the first cut to remove the bow section, but we still see some room for improvement and will continue to refine our operations" said lead wreck removal contractor T&T Salvage President Mauricio Garrido.

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.

B-Roll Video

The Barge 455-8 transits with Section Eight of the Golden Ray wreck to a local facility for further sea-fastening. St. Simons Sound Incident response video.


The Barge 455-8 deballasts as it receives Section Eight, the stern of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

The Barge 455-8 is equipped with a containment barrier to capture any further pollution releases from the section. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Incident Commander Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems and U.S. Coast Guard Commander Efren Lopez, Federal On-scene Coordinator, observe lifting and pollution mitigation operations at the Golden Ray wreck site. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

An aerial observer surveys the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck for signs of pollution and relays observations to recovery vessels on the water. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A formation of recovery vessels use boom and an oil skimmer to recover an oil discharge in the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A formation of response vessels use a Current Buster to collect and recover an oil discharge in the vicinity of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Response vessels tow a Current Buster to collect and recover pollution during operations to lift Section Eight of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use an oil skimmer to recover oil discharges near the Environmental Protection Barrier during lifting operations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

The Tug KURT CROSBY assists the Barge 455-8 as it receives Section Eight of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

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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.

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

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