Photo Release: Wildlife Rescue

Contractors working on the M/V Golden Ray spotted a small deer swimming inside the Environmental Protection Barrier surrounding the wreck on Wednesday evening. The deer was clearly struggling, and swimming between equipment caused a precarious situation. Workers were able to secure a rope around the deer and gently bring it onto the deck of a barge. Once on deck, the deer was wrapped in a blanket to keep it calm. The contractors transported the deer to Jekyll Island, where it was met by local law enforcement and safely released.

Photo Release: Litter Pick Up

Employees of Shelton Services, Inc., recently picked up litter on the Little River Bridge catwalk in Brunswick, Georgia. Members of the St. Simons Sound Incident Response, the clean-up is part of the Unified Command’s attempts to thank the community for their support of the Golden Ray removal efforts. Photo by Nikki Lockwood.

Employees of Shelton Services, Inc., recently cleaned up litter on the Little River Bridge catwalk and nearby public fishing areas in Brunswick, Georgia. Shelton Services is part of the St. Simons Sound Incident Response, responsible for removing the Golden Ray wreck and pollution prevention and response efforts. Photo by Nikki Lockwood.

An employee of Shelton Services, Inc., cleans up litter by the Little River Bridge and nearby public fishing areas in Brunswick, Georgia. Here as part of the St. Simons Sound Incident Response, Shelton employees noticed the trash while fishing there after work and volunteered to clean up the sites. Photo by Nikki Lockwood.

St. Simons Sound Incident Response hosting blood drives May 21 and June 4

ST. SIMONS, Ga.—The Unified Command for the St. Simons Sound Incident Response is hosting blood drives on May 21 and June 4 in St. Simons Island and Brunswick, respectively, to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross.

The blood drive on May 21 is from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Coastal Kitchen’s River Room, 102 Marina Drive, St. Simons Island. The blood drive on June 4 is from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Embassy Suites hotel at 500 Mall Blvd., Brunswick, in the Magnolia Ballroom.

Members of the public interested in donating should sign up for appointments at https://www.redcrossblood.org/ and search by zip code (31522 for St. Simons Island and 31525 for Brunswick).

The Unified Command is responsible for the Golden Ray wreck removal and its pollution prevention and response efforts. The Unified Command includes the Coast Guard as the federal on-scene coordinator, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as the state on-scene coordinator and Gallagher Marine Systems as the incident commander for the responsible party.

“We’re grateful for how the community is supporting our efforts here, so we’re always looking for opportunities to give back,” said Chris Graff, director of response for Gallagher Marine Systems and one of the incident commanders. “Partnering with the Red Cross will allow us to help hospitals take care of patients, especially at this critical time.”

In addition to donating, members of the Unified Command will also be on site to answer questions about the progress of the response operations.

Extra health precautions will be taken during the blood drives. Social distancing will be maintained, and if you do not have a face mask, the Red Cross will provide one. Using the Red Cross’s Rapid Pass at https://www.redcrossblood.org/ in advance can also save time and help maintain social distancing.

Information on the St. Simons Sound Incident Response is also available at the official website, www.ssiresponse.com.

Photo Release: U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter Visits Unified Command

U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Norm Witt briefs U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Savannah (center), on the progress and future plans for the M/V Golden Ray, May 12, 2020. Witt, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the St. Simons Sound Incident Response, explained how the environmental protection barrier surrounding the ship will minimize the threat of debris and pollution while the vessel is being removed. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer John D. Miller.

The leadership of the St. Simons Sound Incident Response briefs U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Savannah (center), on the progress and future plans for the M/V Golden Ray, May 12, 2020. The U.S. Coast Guard, Gallagher Marine Systems, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources comprise the Unified Command and are responsible for pollution prevention and response during the safe removal of the capsized vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer John D. Miller.

U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Efren Lopez (left) looks on as Steve Garcia (right), Operations Section Chief for the St. Simons Sound Incident Response, briefs U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Savannah (center), on the progress and future plans for the M/V Golden Ray, May 12, 2020. Garcia explained the Unified Command’s plans to protect sensitive environmental areas during the removal of the capsized vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer John D. Miller.

Photo Release: Eighth Lifting Lug Installed

T&T Salvage installs the eighth lifting lug on the M/V Golden Ray on May 6, 2020, in St. Simons Sound, Georgia. In total, 16 lugs are scheduled to be installed with two lugs installed on each of the eight sections of the M/V Golden Ray. The lifting lugs will be used as a connection point between the rigging of the VB-10,000 twin-gantry catamaran, and each section of the M/V Golden Ray. The lugs are designed to distribute the weight of each particular section during the cutting and lifting operation. (Unified Command photos by Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow)

Photo Release: Pollution Response Exercise

Pollution response crews with the St. Simons Sound Incident Response conduct a pollution response exercise near the M/V Golden Ray on Monday, April 27, 2020. Exercises like these allow responders to maintain their proficiency while allowing the Unified command to test and evaluate the effectiveness of their pollution response plans. (Photos by Unified Command response personnel. Video by Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow)

T&T Salvage installs the fifth lifting lug on the M/V Golden Ray

T&T Salvage installs the fifth lifting lug on the M/V Golden Ray on April 24, 2020, in St. Simons Sound, Georgia. In total, 16 lugs are scheduled to be installed with two lugs installed on each of the eight sections of the M/V Golden Ray. The lifting lugs will be used as a connection point between the rigging of the VB-10,000 twin-gantry catamaran, and each section of the M/V Golden Ray. The lugs are designed to distribute the weight of each particular section during the cutting and lifting operation. (Unified Command photo by Catherine Teige)

PHOTO RELEASE: Testing of Fire Equipment

Personnel from T&T Salvage test the fire prevention system on board the M/V Golden Ray in St. Simons Sound, Ga., Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The test provided an opportunity for workers to familiarize themselves with the system and ensure the equipment functioned as designed. (U.S. Coast Guard photos by Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow)

PHOTO RELEASE: Unified Command Visits Golden Ray Sister Ship

Coast Guard Cmdr. Norman Witt, Cmdr. Efren Lopez and several members of St. Simons Sound Incident Response salvage team visited the M/V Silver Ray, sister ship of the M/V Golden Ray, during it’s port call in Brunswick, Ga., on April 21, 2020. The visit allowed members of the Unified Command to familiarize themselves with the M/V Silver Rays internal structure and systems, which are similar to those of the M/V Golden Ray, in order to identify concerns and develop contingency plans to mitigate potential issues. (Unified Command photo by Chris Graff)

PHOTO RELEASE: Completion of Pile Driving

The Weeks 531 Derrick Crane Barge approaches the Sidney Lanier Bridge on April 17, 2020, in route to Brunswick after completing its construction work for the Environmental Protection Barrier around the M/V Golden Ray. (Unified Command photo by Tyler Drapeau)

Weeks Marine installed the 80th, and final, EPB piling on Saturday, April 18, with their Weeks 526 Derrick Crane Barge. The installation of the final pile was started by using vibratory hammer, (shown above) and completed with the use of a diesel impact hammer, shown below. (Unified Command photos by Steve Curbelo)

(Unified Command photos by Steve Curbelo)