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Unified Command to Conduct Dye Test

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The Unified Command leading the response to the motor vessel Golden Ray announced today it will conduct a dye test in the St. Simons Sound on Tuesday, March 17 and Friday March 20, 2020.

The nontoxic, water-soluble dye will be used to determine how far potential contaminants travel within the St. Simons Sound System. This exercise is meant to give a representation of the path any potential oil discharges may take when the Golden Ray is cut into sections during the operation’s next phase.

The dye is the same fluorescein disodium salt commonly used in cities including Tampa, Fla., and Boston to dye rivers in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

“The use of this dye is important because it will allow us to see where we need to preposition oil spill response equipment in the most efficient way,” said Jason Maddox, a representative of Gallagher Marine Systems, which is representing the Golden Ray’s responsible party in the Unified Command. “Protection of the environment has always been a priority for the Unified Command, and we take it very seriously.”

Dye testing will occur twice, on March 17 during during maximum flood tide and again on March 20 at the maximum ebb tide.

No significant lasting effects from the dye are anticipated.

Members of the media who have questions may contact the Unified Command’s Joint Information Center by calling 912-944-7122. Visit for more information and official updates about the Golden Ray salvage effort.

Update: Please be advised the dye tests will take place on March 17th at maximum flood tide, and March 20th at Maximum Ebb tide. Date and time subject to change due to external environmental conditions.


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