Update: Salvage operations delayed due to engineering challenges

ST. SIMONS, Ga — Salvage engineers will be modifying the mooring system to be used for the VB10,000 at the Golden Ray wreck-site delaying the cutting and lifting operations by several weeks.

Engineers with the response designed an array of five anchors that accounted for multiple challenging variables such as extreme currents in the sound, restrictions to movement due to the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) and proximity to the shipping channel. After successfully installing and pull-testing four anchors, the remaining anchor at the most challenging mooring site in the system did not meet its pull-test requirements.

The Unified Command (UC) is reviewing multiple options for a revised anchor system and will make a decision that ensures the safety of responders and the public, safeguards the surrounding environment as well as provides for the continuation of commerce in the port.

The Golden Ray wreck remains stable and is monitored continuously by sensors at the wreck-site and during hydrographic surveys around the EPB. Approximately 400 personnel and 50 on-water assets including tugs, barges and response vessels continue preparations to cut and lift the wreck. An environmental unit conducts shoreline assessments throughout the week and pollution response teams continue to monitor the wreck site. No emergent environmental impacts have been observed.

The St. Simons Sound Incident UC is the official source of information for the motor vessel Golden Ray response operations. The St. Simons Sound Incident UC is composed of Gallagher Marine Systems as the representative of the responsible party (RP), Georgia Department of Natural Resources as the State On-scene Coordinator (SOSC) and the U.S. Coast Guard as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC). The FOSC is responsible for oversight of the response and ensuring all federal regulations are followed.

For a series of videos detailing each aspect of the response, please go to www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/subject-matter-expert-videos.

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