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Responders resume cutting Section Seven

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders resumed cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck on Thursday. Pre-cutting operations continue on subsequent sections.

Removal Update

Responders resumed cutting operations on Thursday after completing maintenance on the cutting apparatus. Pre-cutting operations continue along additional cutlines to increase cutting efficiency when the removal operation advances to subsequent sections.

Responders completed weight-shedding operations on Section Two removing approximately 100 vehicles and two movable decks from the section. The vehicles will be transported to and processed at two local, certified auto recycling facilities.

The Barge JULIE B will depart the recycling facility in Gibson, La. next week enroute to Brunswick, Ga. after workers successfully removed Section One. The barge will receive Section Two once the section is separated and lifted.

A view of Section Two after weight-shedding operations removed approximately 100 vehicles as cutting operations to separate Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck resumes. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders use cutting torches to remove strips of hull-plating along projected cutlines during pre-cutting operations. Safety precautions during the operations include air monitoring and water misting using strategically placed fire hoses connected to the deluge system. 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

Responders replace sorbent boom fouled with organic growth installed alongside protective boom placed at a strategic location along the Mackay River. The sorbent boom acts as a passive monitoring and collection system for any residual oil sheens from the Golden Ray wreck site that may travel up river during tidal cycles. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders have recovered several bird carcasses in the last month in the vicinity of the wreck site. Wildlife experts are investigating the carcasses’ potential origins and causes of death to inform strategies for mitigating any bird impacts. Unified Command employs a robust wildlife monitoring program to identify and mitigate any emergent threats to wildlife.

Responders continue to observe and recover very light oil sheens and debris on the water around the wreck site. 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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