29 NOV 2020
Responders are continuing with the first cut in the salvage of the Golden Ray car carrier in St. Simons Sound, Georgia, the St. Simons Sound Incident Command said Wednesday in an update on the cutting process.
The cutting of section one has now progressed through the keel, where the thickest and most structurally dense portion of the hull.
Engineers meanwhile have been gathering data and modifying operations to increase cutting efficiency, and they now expect cutting to move more quickly through the remainder of the section, according to the incident command.
So far, minor pollution has been reported within the proximity of the wreck and along the shoreline. Responders continue to recover small pieces of debris, some of which are oiled. Light oil sheening continues to be observed adjacent to the wreck during the daily aerial and on-water surveys. Last week, a lightly-oiled bird was recovered inside the Environmental Protection Barrier and safely transferred it to a regional wildlife facility for rehabilitation. Natural Resource Advisors have also removed the carcasses of a pelican and a gull from the Environmental Protection Barrier. The carcasses were not oiled.
The hull of the wreck of the Golden Ray shows the progress of the Section One cut. St. Simons Sound Incident response photo.
The 150-yard safety zone around the Environmental Protection Barrier is increased to 200 yards for recreational vessels. The Incident Command is also reporting drone sightings over the wreck site.
“Our crews are working under very challenging conditions. Recreational boats impeding the safety zone and drone activity in the area where our teams are actively working can be a distraction that leads to a mishap or injury,” said Incident Commander Tom Wiker, Gallagher Marine Systems. “We ask that people please respect the safety zones as they are in place for the safety of the public and responders”