Update: St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command prepare for cut and lift, await weather window

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command (UC) responders continue preparations to remove the Golden Ray wreck, including addressing excessive chafing which was occurring in the polyethylene Dyneema mooring lines used to secure the VB-10000. The UC is closely monitoring weather forecasts, including the threat of severe weather associated with Tropical Storm Eta, to identify a weather window for cutting and lifting of the first section of the Golden Ray wreck.


“Our personnel are continuously working to solve each issue that emerges as we prepare for cutting and lifting the first section of the Golden Ray,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Efren Lopez, Federal On-Scene Coordinator, “The pace of the entire removal operation will be dictated by our prudence and commitment to safety as we encounter known, unknown and unprecedented challenges as well as continue to experience weather impacts. We are grateful for the continued patience of the community.”


Responders fabricated and installed anti-chafing gear flanges around the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) and installed anti-chafing covers around the mooring lines to mitigate chafing and ensure the safety of responders. Line inspectors deemed repaired lines safe for use and responders reoriented sections of the EPB to allow for more movement of mooring lines without compromising the efficacy of the barrier.


The 150-yard safety zone around the Environmental Protection Barrier is increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The UC advises mariners to steer clear of the perimeter. Officials prohibit any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) around the wrecksite. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.

Workers on the VB-10000 hold a polyethylene Dyneema mooring line heavily chafed from making contact with the Environmental Protection Barrier. The mooring lines hold the heavy-lift vessel in place over the Golden Ray wreck. St. Simons Sound Incident Photo


Responders fabricated and installed anti-chafing gear flanges to shield polyethylene Dyneema mooring lines from chafing when contacting couplings at the Environmental Protection Barrier. Response engineers demonstrate the resourcefulness and flexibility necessary to ensure a safe operation. St. Simons Sound Incident Response photo.

Responders worked with the line manufacturer to acquire and cover critical sections of the polyethylene Dyneema mooring lines with heavy-duty 3-ply anti-chafing covers to further mitigate chafing. St. Simons Sound Incident photo.


The St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command is the official source of information for the Golden Ray wreck response operations.


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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