Tug crews removed Section Seven of the Golden Ray wreck from the Environmental Protection Barrier (EPB) by barge on Tuesday. The section transited to a facility at Mayors Point Terminal for further sea-fastening in preparation for an ocean transit to a recycling facility in Louisiana. Collected data from fixed monitors and hydrographic surveys confirms that the remaining wreck is stable. Wreck removal personnel will shift the VB-10000 and prepare the cutting apparatus for cutting operations to separate Section Three of the remaining wreck.
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 to ensure the safety of our responders and the public. Any unauthorized usage of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs) around the wreck site and near response facilities is discouraged due to safety. UAVs are distractions that can lead to near misses, mishaps and injuries. Responders will report any sightings of drones and drone operators to local authorities.
During operations to remove Section Seven on Monday and Tuesday, some oil material emanated from the Golden Ray wreck. As part of the multi-layer Environmental Protection Barrier strategy, response vessels immediately began recovering the material on the water. Responders recovered six bags of oiled vegetated debris from the high-tide wrack line near the 7th Street Public Beach Access on St. Simons Island on Tuesday.
On-water response teams continue to mitigate oil sheens and debris observed around the wreck site. Natural Resource Advisors continue to monitor areas around the wreck site and the Environmental Protection Barrier for any wildlife activity or impacts. Survey teams continue to assess the shoreline to find and remove any debris or other environmental impacts.
If you encounter what you believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please do not handle the debris. 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. If you encounter residual oil on the shoreline or in the water, please call the National Response Center hotline at (800) 424-8802.
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. Recovery personnel are on-station at the Environmental Protection Barrier, 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 St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command is the official source of information for the motor vessel Golden Ray response operations.