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Responders start cutting operations to separate Section Seven of the Golden Ray

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Responders commenced cutting operations to separate Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck, Wednesday.

“Safety is our number one priority as we begin removing the next section of the Golden Ray wreck,” said U.S. Coast Guard Commander Efren Lopez, Federal On-scene Coordinator, “We are using extraordinary methods and machinery to ensure the safety of the public, the responders and the environment. We appreciate the support from the community and urge them to heed our safety messages.”

Responders monitor sound levels at the St. Simons Island Pier and the Jekyll Island Pier continuously. Nearby residents may notice an increase in sound levels during cutting operations.

The 150-yard safety zone around the Environmental Protection Barrier is increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The Unified Command (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.


Responders place shots of anchor chain on the deck of the VB-10000. Each 3-inch diameter link is 18-inches long and weighs 80lbs. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Responders pull the cutting chain into place as they prepare for cutting operations to separate Section Seven from the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A dry dock barge arrives in the Port of Brunswick, Ga. assisted by the Tug Crosby Star enroute to a temporary facility operated by Modern American Recycling Services on the East River. Responders plan to use dry dock barges to stow and transit Sections Three, Four, Five and Six from the wreck site to the local facility once they are cut and separated. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

A response trawler tows Current Busters during an on-water pollution response and containment drill outside the Environmental Protection Barrier, Jan. 25. The response utilizes a variety of utility vessels and specialized equipment which are applied in different types of pollution mitigation applications and formations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.


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. For more information on public health safety, please visit

The 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 maintain 24-hour patrols at the wreck site and conduct overflight and shoreline assessments daily. Responders actively maintain protective boom at sensitive locations throughout St. Simons Sound. For more information about response operations, please visit

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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