Photos: Cutting Operations Continue On MV Golden Ray To Separate Section Eight

Cutting operations continue to separate Section Eight, the stern of the Golden Ray wreck. Responders continue to observe and mitigate pollution in the vicinity of the wreck site and at the shoreline.

Removal Update

Responders continue cutting operations on Section Eight, the stern of the Golden Ray, pausing occasionally to inspect and maintain the cutting chain as well as additional wreck removal equipment when necessary.

Cutting operations continue as responders separate Section Eight from the Golden Ray wreck
Cutting operations continue as responders separate Section Eight from the Golden Ray wreck | Image Credits: St. Simons Sound Incident response

The Barge JULIE B is nearing the coast of Louisiana enroute to the recycling facility with Section One, the bow of the Golden Ray. Once the section is removed, the barge will return to Brunswick, Ga. to receive Section Two. Custom fabricated cradles on the barge are designed to receive specific sections of the wreck.

Cooled by water, the cutting chain progresses through the deck of the Golden Ray wreck
Cooled by water, the cutting chain progresses through the deck of the Golden Ray wreck during cutting operations to separate Section Eight, the stern | Image Credits: St. Simons Sound Incident response

Health and Safety Update

One responder returned to work last week after clearing health safety protocols for COVID-19. No responders are in isolation or quarantine at this time.

Responders aboard a utility vessel use a water cannon to drive a light oil sheen
Responders aboard a utility vessel use a water cannon to drive a light oil sheen towards a collection point inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) for recovery | Image Credits: St. Simons Sound Incident response

While at the response, personnel continue to follow guidance to limit exposure to COVID-19 which includes face coverings, safe distancing and remote working when possible, daily temperature checks for all members and continuous disinfection of facilities and platforms. All incoming personnel are mandated to sequester and receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to working. Response sequestration, quarantine and isolation protocols were developed in consultation with a local department of health epidemiologist and follow CDC guidelines.

Environmental Update

Responders continue to observe and mitigate oil sheens, small oil discharges and debris on the water in the vicinity of the wreck. Shoreline teams continue to recover residual oil and debris on Jekyll Island and St Simons Island. No further treatment was necessary after each recovery. The response environmental unit continues to collect water samples in the vicinity of the wreck site in accordance with the response Water Quality Sampling Plan.

Responder recovers a Green sea turtle from inside the Environmental Protection Barrier
A Responder recovers a Green sea turtle from inside the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB). The turtle was quickly released after Natural Resource Advisers determined no oil or injuries were present on the animal | Image Credits: St. Simons Sound Incident response

If you encounter what you believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please do not handle the debris.

A Responder uses sorbents to recover a light oil sheen. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo
A Responder uses sorbents to recover a light oil sheen | Image Credits: St. Simons Sound Incident response

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.

Responders collect water samples at predetermined locations in the vicinity of the wreck site
Responders collect water samples at predetermined locations in the vicinity of the wreck site in accordance with the response Water Quality Sampling Plan | Image Credits: St. Simons Sound Incident response

If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, please call the National Response Center hotline at 800-424-8802.

Responders trained in Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) assess the shoreline
Responders trained in Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) assess the shoreline for evidence of environmental impacts and are prepared to recover oil and debris and recommend further treatment if necessary | Image Credits: St. Simons Sound Incident response

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.

Example of a recovered surface residual ball. No further treatment was necessary after recovery
Example of a recovered surface residual ball. No further treatment was necessary after recovery | Image Credits: St. Simons Sound Incident response

Recovery personnel are on-station at the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB), 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 150-yard safety zone around the EPB is increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The UC advises mariners to please steer clear of the perimeter. Any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) around the wreck site is prohibited. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.

Reference: St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command

Latest Shipping News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.