Gulf of Mexico
St. Simons Sound Incident Response

GA - Salvors Make Progress on Fifth Cut of Golden Ray Wreck Removal

Undeterred by the fire that burnt through the interior of the wrecked ro/ro Golden Ray last month, salvors are making progress on a fifth cut through the defunct vessel's hull. However, fuel oil spillage from the wreck remains a concern, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Undeterred by the fire that burnt through the interior of the wrecked ro/ro Golden Ray last month, salvors are making progress on a fifth cut through the defunct vessel's hull. However, fuel oil spillage from the wreck remains a concern, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Photos provided by the incident command show that the cutting chain is tearing its way up the bottom of the hull as expected and has reached the turn of the bilge. As during previous stages, the operations team paused during the cut for an inspection and overhaul process, replacing the wires in the rigging blocks used for cutting.

The wreck removal process for Golden Ray has always involved a risk of oil pollution, and the fifth cut has been no exception. On Tuesday, oil globules and surface sheening escaped the containment boom structure that surrounds the wreck and spread across nearby waters of St. Simons Sound.  

“When the current picks up, it is swift enough to pull the oil underneath the boom,” U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Michael Himes told The Brunswick News.

In response to the release, the Georgia Department of Public Health's Coastal Health District issued a warning to the public, cautioning swimmers and fishermen to watch out for oil near Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island.

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