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Responders resume cutting operations

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders resumed cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck on Wednesday. Weight-shedding operations removed several vehicles from Section Two.

Responders replaced rigging wires in the cutting apparatus after which they resumed cutting operations early Wednesday morning. Divers will lengthen pre-cut notches along cutlines for Section Two and Section Three to increase cutting efficiency during subsequent cutting operations.

Responders removed approximately 50 vehicles and one moveable deck from Section Two during weight-shedding operations this week. The vehicles and material are stowed on a containment barge inside the Environmental Protection Barrier and will transit to Mayors Point Terminal for offloading. Once offloaded, the vehicles will be taken to a nearby certified auto recycler for final disposal.

Cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck resumed Wednesday. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders work on the cutting apparatus during maintenance operations on the deck of the VB-10000, Feb 8. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use a Fuchs MHL390 material-handling machine to remove accessible vehicles and a movable deck from Section Two during weight-shedding operations, Feb. 8. The machine is capable of extending horizontally up to 70ft with a multi-tine grapple attachment and can remove loads of approximately 13,000lbs. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders remove marine growth from ocean boom during routine maintenance operations. In addition to challenges presented by extreme tidal shifts and swift currents, responders must constantly clean protective boom used in sensitive areas throughout St. Simons Sound to ensure it remains effective. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

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.

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 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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