Unified Command Continues St. Simons Sound Incident Response: Update 26

Unified Command responds to white smoke coming from the vessel Golden Ray in Brunswick, Ga, Oct. 20, 2019

Date: 10.20.19

Contact: Joint Information Center (912) 944-7122

The Unified Command confirms white smoke is coming from the motor vessel Golden Ray. Response officials are investigating with the use of overflights and surface-level salvage teams. We are continuing air monitoring efforts on-site and for the surrounding community. The safety of response crews and the public is our top priority.

More than 250,000 gallons of fuel has been removed from the M/V Golden Ray to date. Currently, there are more than 400 people involved in the response with 80 vessels.

Maritime experts engaged in the response have determined that it is not possible to safely right and refloat the vessel in a fully intact condition. Consequently, Unified Command is developing plans to remove all of the M/V Golden Ray’s hull, components, and cargo by disassembling the vessel in place. This remains a complex situation but additional information about the removal plan and the expected timeline will be shared with the public as and when available.

Pollution mitigation and response efforts will continue throughout the duration of the removal operation.

Unified Command’s priorities are ensuring the safety of responders and the public, protecting the environment, and completing a full removal of the vessel. All parties involved in the response are fully committed to the successful completion of these operations.

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.