BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Cutting operations successfully separated Section Six from the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck on Friday.
Wreck removal personnel separated Section Six from the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck on Friday. They will prepare the section to be lifted and stowed onto a dry-dock barge for transit to a response facility south of Mayor’s Point Terminal in Brunswick, Ga.
Since the operations began on July 20, a debris removal crew removed 78 vehicles and 6 moveable decks and 5 shots of chain from areas adjacent to the wreck inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB). A weight-shedding team removed 50 vehicles from Section Four of the remaining wreck on Thursday in an effort to reduce the overall weight of the section when it is eventually lifted. Any reduction of weight contributes to an overall safer lift. The removed vehicles are then off-loaded from barges into containers and transferred by truck to local auto recycling facilities.
The VB-10000 holds Section Six shortly after it is separated from the Golden Ray wreck on Friday. Two sections of the wreck remain. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A tug removes a barge fully loaded with vehicles removed from Section Four of the Golden Ray wreck during weight-shedding operations on Thursday. Any reduction in weight ensures a safer lifting operation when the section is removed. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A team of wreck removal personnel prepares the “wildkat” anchor pulley on Wednesday for use in the cutting apparatus. The pulley enables a shallower cutting angle when the cutting chain nears the topside of the wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
A crane operator lifts a section of a vehicle during debris removal operations inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) on Tuesday. The vehicles are placed on a containment barge and then transferred into container trucks and hauled to a local auto recycling facility. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
The 150-yard safety zone around the EPB is increased to 200 yards for any non-response vessel not transiting inside the shipping channel. The Unified Command (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.
Pollution response teams maintain a multi-tiered boom system aft of Section Six during cutting operations. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
On-water response teams tow a Current Buster on Thursday during a pollution mitigation drill in preparation for the removal of Section Six of the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Response Environmental Unit members collect water samples during routine water quality testing in the vicinity of the wreck site during cutting operations on Friday. Water sample analysis continues to confirm no exceedances of water quality standards. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
Pollution response teams observed and mitigated oil discharges inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) and light oil sheens which entrained beyond the barrier periodically throughout the week. Inside the EPB, pollution mitigation teams maintained a multi-tiered barrier boom and sorbent boom system around each end of the wreck. Wreck removal personnel patched a hole in a water ballast tank suspected to be the source of a discharge. No significant impacts occurred at the shoreline and survey teams recovered a few oil globules during routine shoreline assessments. If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, please call the National Response Center hotline at (800) 424-8802.
Survey teams assessed 119 miles of shoreline on foot and by vessel this week. They continue to recover debris along shorelines and from marsh areas in the vicinity of the wreck site. All debris is sorted, catalogued and disposed of according to the response debris plan. 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.
For current beach and fishing safety information, please visit the Georgia Coast Health District website at the Georgia Coast Health District website.
On-water response teams maintain a 24-hour watch around the Golden Ray and they deploy pre-staged equipment and personnel to mitigate any oil discharges, sheens and debris observed. Natural Resource Advisors continue to monitor areas around the wreck site and the Environmental Protection Barrier for any wildlife activity or impacts. To learn more about the response on-water oil recovery program, watch this video Subject Matter Expert Overview – On-Water Oil Recovery Operations
Safety personnel continue to measure air quality in the community using stationary and mobile air monitoring equipment. Community air quality analysis and water sample analysis continues to confirm no exceedances of air and water quality standards. To learn more about the Air and Water quality monitoring program, watch this video Subject Matter Expert Overview – Air and Water Quality Monitoring
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, 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.