BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The St. Simons Sound Incident Response Unified Command has successfully completed the removal of the rudder and propeller from the Golden Ray today. Crews worked over the past week to complete the operation which was hampered by adverse weather conditions at times. The removal of approximately 130 tons of weight will help reduce stresses to the hull of the wreck.
Portions of the ship that were removed are being donated to the State of Georgia for use as artificial reefs in areas designated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Crews work to remove the propeller from the M/V Golden Ray, St. Simons Sound, Dec. 20, 2019.
Crews transfer the propeller from the M/V Golden Ray to the work barges for safe removal, St. Simons Sound, Dec. 20, 2019.
Crews remove the rudder from the M/V Golden Ray and transfer it to the work barges for safe removal, St. Simons Sound, Dec. 20, 2019.
Unified Command rapid response teams deploy 5,400 feet of containment boom during a preparedness exercise north of St. Simons Sound on the Intracoastal Waterway, Nov. 20, 2019. Training exercises allow response crews to adapt emergency procedures and implement better practices to protect the marine environment.
Contact: Joint Information Center (912) 944-7122
The St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command continues its response to the M/V Golden Ray incident. On-water operations have resumed following a pause due to heavy weather. Lightering operations have now removed more than 220,000 gallons of fuel from the vessel. More than 400 personnel and 70 vessels are currently responding to the incident.
Response teams continue to canvass the shoreline for oil-impacts and conduct environmental protection techniques including applying a sphagnum moss-based sorbent to oiled marsh grass in areas of the south shore of the Brunswick River between the I-95 bridge and Cedar Creek. Sphagnum, a standard oil spill recovery technique for marsh areas, binds to the oil to prevent it from spreading and allow for its natural degradation. Additional response teams are patrolling area beaches to recover any tar balls which have come ashore using proper safety equipment and appropriate tools.
Specialists from the Unified Command are conducting water monitoring at 22 sites under a long term plan to ensure the safety of the public. The Georgia Department of Health has issued a swimming and fishing advisory, and members of the public are encouraged to visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website or call (844) 863-0325 for further public health information and advisories.
Members of the public should not touch oil or attempt to rescue oiled birds or wildlife. They should instead report any sightings of oil to (800) 424-8802 and report any oiled wildlife to (800) 261-0980.
A claims number has been established for those affected by the incident (888) 850-8486.
Response personnel apply a sphagnum moss-based sorbent to freshly oiled marsh grass on Oct. 8. Spaghnum is used in marsh areas to prevent the spread of fresh oil and allow for its natural degradation.
Specialists are conducting sampling water quality at 22 sites in areas surrounding the vessel. Results of the testing are analyzed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Georgia Department of Public Health for any contaminants from the M/V Golden Ray.