Unified Command Continues St. Simons Sound Incident Response: Update 24

Date: 10.10.19

Contact: Joint Information Center (912) 944-7122

The St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command continues its response to the M/V Golden Ray incident. On-water operations have resumed following a pause due to heavy weather. Lightering operations have now removed more than 220,000 gallons of fuel from the vessel. More than 400 personnel and 70 vessels are currently responding to the incident.

Response teams continue to canvass the shoreline for oil-impacts and conduct environmental protection techniques including applying a sphagnum moss-based sorbent to oiled marsh grass in areas of the south shore of the Brunswick River between the I-95 bridge and Cedar Creek. Sphagnum, a standard oil spill recovery technique for marsh areas, binds to the oil to prevent it from spreading and allow for its natural degradation. Additional response teams are patrolling area beaches to recover any tar balls which have come ashore using proper safety equipment and appropriate tools.

Specialists from the Unified Command are conducting water monitoring at 22 sites under a long term plan to ensure the safety of the public. The Georgia Department of Health has issued a swimming and fishing advisory, and members of the public are encouraged to visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website or call (844) 863-0325 for further public health information and advisories. 

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.

St. Simons response personnel

Response personnel apply a sphagnum moss-based sorbent to freshly oiled marsh grass on Oct. 8. Spaghnum is used in marsh areas to prevent the spread of fresh oil and allow for its natural degradation.

St Simons Map

Specialists are conducting sampling water quality at 22 sites in areas surrounding the vessel. Results of the testing are analyzed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Georgia Department of Public Health for any contaminants from the M/V Golden Ray.