Oil Spill Reported at Golden Ray Wreck Site

June 7, 2021 Maritime Safety News

The Unified Command in charge of the disposal of the wreck in GOLDEN RAY reported an oil spill which the workers were attempting to contain both on the water and along the coastline of St. Simons Sound.

According to the St. Simons Sound Incident Response, the leak appeared Tuesday while continued cutting activities for Section Three were underway. Mitigation activities were concentrated on the coast and the area surrounding the crash site.

On Tuesday after the regular Sunday inspection, Wreck removal professionals commenced chain cycling activities and recommended maintenance of the rigging system of the cutting devices, confirmed the Unified Command.

As per the Unified Command’s website, it has created a multi-layered method for monitoring, assessing, documenting, and preventing any oil or debris discharges during cutting and lifting operations.

Recovery crews are stationed at the Environmental Protection Barrier, along the coast, and in the sea surrounding the wreckage, while rescuers also maintain protective barriers in vulnerable areas in St. Simons Sound.

T&T Salvage is the primary contractor for the wreck removal operation.

It was last Thursday, nearly two weeks after a fire delayed the project, that the work to continue cutting the next portion of the GOLDEN RAY wreck had restarted. The reboot of work followed a thorough examination of the wreck removal equipment, which determined that the VB-10000 cutting apparatus, along with the fire suppression equipment are all completely operational.

Back in September 2019, the GOLDEN RAY lost control and came to a halt on a rocky beach in St. Simons Sound, Georgia when it left the Port of Brunswick carrying 4,200 automobiles. Except for weight shedding on a section-by-section basis (i.e. removal of automobiles and debris), all automobiles have stayed inside the wreck as each part is accessed and removed.

The VB-10000, a heavy-lift catamaran barge that is visibly floating over the wreck, is being used to remove it. The vessel uses a cutting chain to separate the wreck into eight chunks, which are then hoisted onto a barge, secured, and transferred to a Louisiana recycling facility.