St. Simons Sound Incident Response, Preparation for Wreck Removal Update

The Unified Command (UC) continues to develop and refine a plan for the removal of the wreck from St. Simons Sound.

The UC is coordinating with experts to determine the most prudent barrier to place around the vessel so full-scale demolition may begin.

Specific details about the removal and an estimated timeline will be released as plans become finalized.

T&T Salvage LLC (T&T) will conduct wreck removal operations.

T&T is headquartered in Texas with offices around the globe and has extensive experience in wreck removal.

“We’d like to thank the initial response contractor, DonJon-SMIT, for their hard work and commitment throughout this project,” said Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems, incident commander for the responsible party. “This is one of the most complicated marine casualty responses in U.S. history. DonJon-SMIT’s commitment to safety, along with hundreds of other responders, resulted in no injuries despite all the emergent hazards they faced.”

“This is a big step forward in this response, but there is still a significant amount of work to be done,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Matt Baer, federal on scene coordinator for the incident. “While we cannot operate without risk, the UC remains focused on mitigating the overall risk to the environment while ensuring the safe removal of the ship. The next phase will include construction of an environmental protection barrier. We have not made a decision on exactly what type of barrier will be constructed given the complex nature of the response, but we are close.”

The UC includes the federal on scene coordinator, the U.S. Coast Guard, the state on scene coordinator, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the responsible party, represented by Gallagher Marine Systems.

CONTACT: Joint Information Center (912) 944-7122