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Response operations continue, Section One cut progresses

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Removal operations of the wreck of the Golden Ray continued this week after a brief stand down for Tropical Storm Eta.

Removal Update

Cutting resumed on Monday after a pause for Tropical Storm Eta. During that pause, responders continued to refine cutting equipment and methods to increase their efficiency. Equipment to lift and remove the section of the cut remains on standby.

The hull and the topside of the wreck of the Golden Ray shows the progress of the Section One cut. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.

Health and Safety Update

Responders continue to diligently follow strict COVID-19 protocols in line with CDC guidelines and consistent with medical standards established by the Unified Command (UC). One responder sustained a minor injury while performing routine maintenance during the weather-related pause last week.

Environmental Update

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 are on-station at the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB), at the shoreline and on the water around the Golden Ray shipwreck. Responders are protectively maintaining boom at sensitive locations around St. Simons Sound.

Light oil sheening has been observed and reported adjacent to the wreck during daily aerial and on-water surveys. A small amount of oil has been recovered.

If the public encounters what they believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please call the Debris Reporting Hotline at (912) 944-5620. Responders evaluate each report and investigate the reported location in addition to their daily surveys of the water and the shoreline. Debris related to the M/V Golden Ray will be recovered once confirmed.

Responders recovered a lightly-oiled tern inside the EPB and safely transferred it to a regional wildlife facility on Monday for rehabilitation.

Noise pollution during cutting operations has been lower than anticipated.


The 150-yard safety zone around the Environmental Protection Barrier 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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