Category Archives: Response Imagery

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)

T&T Salvage installs the third and fourth lifting lugs on the M/V Golden Ray

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow

T&T Salvage installs the third and fourth lifting lugs on the M/V Golden Ray on April 17, 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.

PHOTO RELEASE: Personal Protective Equipment donated to Georgia National Guard

ST. SIMONS, Ga. – Todd Farrar of Gallagher Marine Systems (GMS) presents a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to John Evan and David Brady, game wardens at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, April 6, for use by Georgia National Guard units helping to clean assisted living facilities in the wake of the COVID-19 virus.

Boxes of gloves and Tyvek suits were purchased by GMS and handed over by Farrar to the game wardens who will pass the equipment on to the Georgia National Guard for distribution.

Farrar received a call from Sgt. J.T. Bennet, a member of the Georgia National Guard, asking if he could help out with some PPE for his unit. Bennet explained to Farrar that he had been activated and his unit was assigned to clean nursing homes throughout Georgia, however they had quickly run out of most PPE specifically Tyvek suits suitable to protect against the COVID-19 virus. Farrar worked with Bennet extensively during the ongoing Golden Ray response and wanted to help out.

Gallagher Marine Systems is working in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to make up the Unified Command of the M/V Golden Ray response.

Photo Release: First Lifting Lug Installed on M/V Golden Ray

Unified Command photo by Abraham Cardenas

T&T Salvage installs the first lifting lug on the M/V Golden Ray March 31, 2020, in St. Simons Sound off St. Simons Island, 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 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: First Floating Pipe Barrier Segment Installed Around the Wreck Site

St. Simons Island, Ga. — On March 26, 2020, Weeks Marine, a contractor for the installation of the environmental protection barrier around the M/V Golden Ray, installs the first 36-inch diameter high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floating pipe barrier segment between pile pairs that will support the environmental protection barrier surrounding the M/V Golden Ray. The HDPE pipe, which is foam filled and one of 36 segments in total, will float on the water surface between steel buoys constrained by the structural framing at each pile group. The HDPE barrier will secure and protect a floating offshore oil boom that will be installed outside of the pipe and will completely surround the wreck site. (Unified Command photo by Diego Hurtado)

Photo Release: Containers Are Placed Around The Vessel To Reduce Tidal Flow Effects

The Weeks 541 places a shipping container into the St. Simons Sound off St. Simons Island, Georgia, near the Motor Vessel Golden Ray on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Crews will soon place multiple containers in arcs around the bow and stern of Golden Ray in an effort to reduce tidal flow effects during salvage operations. Contractors are using sonar technology to guide the accurate placement of the containers in real time. (Unified Command photo by Neal Williams)

Photo Release: EPB Construction

A Weeks Marine crane prepares to drive a pile using a vibratory hammer Feb. 26, 2020, near St. Simons Island, Georgia, as part of the construction of the environmental protection barrier (EPB) around the motor vessel Golden Ray. The EPB will be composed of approximately 70 piles that will hold the barrier in place. (photo by Tyler Drapeau)

Unified Command for St. Simons Sound Incident Response finalizing plans for environmental protection barrier, wreck removal

The Unified Command (UC) for the St. Simons Sound Incident Response and assisting organizations are actively engaged in finalizing plans for the construction of an environmental protection barrier (EPB) to be built around the motor vessel Golden Ray.

The vessel’s owner and the UC are working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Savannah District, to obtain the required permits to begin construction of the EPB. The UC will release details about EPB construction plans and the wreck removal once required permits are issued.

USACE issued a public notice Wednesday indicating that the construction plan could potentially impact the federal navigation channel. The notice is open for public comment until Feb. 4.

Contractors are working daily, weather permitting, on preparing the Golden Ray for removal. Most recently, crews removed the side ramp and have been working on the stern ramp.  Removing these ramps will improve safety conditions and expedite operations to cut the vessel into sections for removal.

“While crews are actively engaged in ramp removal from the wreck itself, we are working back on shore with environmental, engineering and other experts to finalize plans for the EPB that will mitigate threats to the marine ecosystem when the Golden Ray is eventually cut into large sections and removed by barge,” said Kevin Perry of Gallagher Marine Systems, incident commander for the responsible party. “We are doing everything we can to get this wreck removal right. This includes considering every last detail of the EPB including how its construction will impact marine life and what level of noise the citizens of St. Simons Island can expect while it is being built.”

The UC for the St. Simons Sound Incident Response is comprised of the Coast Guard as the federal on scene coordinator, the Georgia Department of Natural Resource (DNR) as the state on scene coordinator, and Gallagher Marine Services as the incident commander for the responsible party.

“While the UC is made up of representatives from three organizations, we must consider input from multiple experts and stakeholders when moving forward with EPB and removal plans,” said John Maddox, Georgia Dept. of Natural Resource state on scene coordinator. “This is a complicated project with lots of moving parts. The UC is pleased that this phase of the planning process is almost complete and appreciates the patience of local residents and visitors of St. Simons as we get closer to removing the Golden Ray.”

The UC remains available to answer questions and verify information. The joint information center (JIC) for the St. Simons Sound Incident Response is the response’s official source of information. The JIC can be reached by phone at 912 944 7122 or email at simonsresponse@gmail.com.

St. Simons Sound Incident Response contractors remove a ramp from the motor vessel Golden Ray, near Brunswick, Georgia, Jan. 26, 2020. Contractors continue to work daily, weather permitting, on preparing the Golden Ray for removal—removing these ramps will improve safety conditions and expedite operations to cut the vessel into sections for removal. (Photo by Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class James Himes)

Removal of rudder and propeller from the Golden Ray is complete.

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.