Unified Command Continues St. Simons Sound Incident Response: Update 20

Date: 10.2.19
Contact: Joint Information Center (912) 944-7122

St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command continues its response to the Motor Vessel Golden Ray. Salvage workers continue to lighter the vessel and they have removed over 136,000 gallons of fuel as of Wednesday. The source of the oil discharge that occurred on Monday afternoon has been located and secured.

Skimming vessels are continuing to recover oil from the water while response teams continue to canvass the shoreline to mitigate impacted areas. There are currently 315 response personnel out in the field helping to mitigate and report on environmental impacts. 14,700 feet of containment boom has been deployed to protect sensitive areas and booming strategies continue to be optimized based on the evolving response efforts and changing environmental conditions. 

“The Unified Command continues to prioritize environmental protection and pollutant recovery. Yesterday, cleanup crews were deployed to Jekyll Island where they cleaned 1.5 miles of shoreline. Currently, we are also assessing impacted marsh in the sound and associated tributaries, and developing cleanup methods for those affected areas.”  – Jed Hewitt, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, State On Scene Coordinator.

The Georgia Department of Health has issued an advisory alerting swimmers and recreational fishers to the potential presence of oil on the beaches of Jekyll Island. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website or call (844) 863-0325 for public health information and advisories. Specialists continue to actively monitor air and water quality around the vessel, Jekyll Island, and St. Simons Island.

 The Unified Command is working with local stakeholder groups to track and evaluate reported sightings of oil. 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.

Clean up crews spray sphagnum moss, a peat absorbent, to freshly oiled marsh grass at the mouth, and along the banks, of Cedar Creek.

Responders bagging oiled vegetation on the south bank of the Brunswick River.