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.

St. Simons Sound Incident Response contractors to begin nighttime operations

ST. SIMONS, Ga. — St. Simons Sound Incident Response contractors are scheduled to begin nighttime operations Saturday, April 4, on and around the grounded M/V Golden Ray.

Operations are scheduled to be conducted day and night until further notice.

Further details available at the St. Simons Sound Incident Response official website: https://ssiresponse.com/. 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.

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)

Unified Command answers the Vice President’s call for Donations

ST. SIMONS, Georgia. – The contractor representing the responsible party in the Unified Command’s response to the capsized Motor Vessel Golden Ray has donated 1,000 N95 respirator masks to first responders in Glynn County as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I heard Vice President Mike Pence’s plea for mask donations, I immediately called Gallagher Marine System’s senior leadership and pitched the idea of donating our excess supply of N95 masks,” said Chris Graff, the Incident Commander for the responsible party. “I knew we had a responsibility to act. The highest priority of the Unified Command is the safety of the community and responders. I felt it was our duty to give back to a community that has supported us so much throughout the response to the Golden Ray.”

Unified Command personnel delivered 1,000 masks to Jay Wiggins, interim Chief of Glynn County Police and Director of Glynn County Emergency Management Agency, on March 23, 2020. These masks will be distributed to first responders in Glynn County, Ga.

“It will make a tremendous impact, these masks are just not available right now. Your donation makes sure these first responders have the availability to have a mask when they need it, this is for all of our public safety officers to include the sheriff’s department and local firefighters.” said Jay Wiggins.

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: 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)

Unified Command to Conduct Dye Test

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The Unified Command leading the response to the motor vessel Golden Ray announced today it will conduct a dye test in the St. Simons Sound on Tuesday, March 17 and Friday March 20, 2020. 

The nontoxic, water-soluble dye will be used to determine how far potential contaminants travel within the St. Simons Sound System. This exercise is meant to give a representation of the path any potential oil discharges may take when the Golden Ray is cut into sections during the operation’s next phase.

The dye is the same fluorescein disodium salt commonly used in cities including Tampa, Fla., and Boston to dye rivers in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

“The use of this dye is important because it will allow us to see where we need to preposition oil spill response equipment in the most efficient way,” said Jason Maddox, a representative of Gallagher Marine Systems, which is representing the Golden Ray’s responsible party in the Unified Command. “Protection of the environment has always been a priority for the Unified Command, and we take it very seriously.”

Dye testing will occur twice, on March 17 during during maximum flood tide and again on March 20 at the maximum ebb tide. 

No significant lasting effects from the dye are anticipated.

Members of the media who have questions may contact the Unified Command’s Joint Information Center by calling 912-944-7122. Visit www.SSIreponse.com for more information and official updates about the Golden Ray salvage effort.

Update: Please be advised the dye tests will take place on March 17th at maximum flood tide, and March 20th at Maximum Ebb tide. Date and time subject to change due to external environmental conditions.

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)

St. Simons Sound Incident Response contractors to begin construction of environmental protection barrier, Thursday

ST. SIMONS, Georgia — St. Simons Sound Incident Response contractors are scheduled to begin construction of an environmental protection barrier (EPB) Thursday around the grounded motor vessel Golden Ray.

The pile-driving operation is the first phase in the construction of the EPB.

Weeks Marine workers will begin the process of driving approximately 80 piles into the sea floor over an estimated one-month period. The pile-driving operations will be limited to daylight hours. The public should expect construction noise.

The EPB will include a large floating containment barrier to help contain surface pollutants, as well as large netting to contain subsurface debris.

The Unified Command for the St. Simons Sound Incident Response is comprised of the Coast Guard as the federal on scene coordinator, Georgia Department of Natural Resources as the state on scene coordinator, and Gallagher Marine Systems as the incident commander for the responsible party.

Further details and graphics describing plans and equipment are available at the St. Simons Sound Incident Response official website: https://ssiresponse.com/. 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.