[Watch] Capsized Cargo Ship Leaks Petroleum Amid Salvage Operations


  • It took a year to plan, but the salvage efforts started in earnest in November 2020.
  • The first massive chunk was cut off of the ship and schlepped to shore, but it took until January 2 to get the stern separated and removed as operations continue.
  • The crew is preparing to slice the next section of the capsized Golden Ray. This will be the 7th third cut.

Crews are preparing to slice the next section of the capsized Golden Ray, which will be the third cut of seven, reports News4Jax.

Petroleum load on Golden Ray

News4Jax walked along the coastline of Jekyll Island near the pier with the keeper of the Altamaha River to see what debris had been washed away after the latest amputation a few weeks ago.

Riverkeepers say about 44,000 gallons of petroleum products are on the Golden Ray. Coastkeeper Sue Inman is concerned about what the St. Simons sound could leak during the next cut because it is so close to the engine room.

Debris pile-up

Around Driftwood Beach, Inman found several debris, including bumpers, plastics he encountered, and fiberglass. In the past, she also found a lump of oil.

We can walk on the beach to see what’s actually being washed away on the beach, or what’s in our ocean and floating in the estuary,” Inman said.

Ship leaking oil

Dead dolphins were washed ashore on St. Simons Island Wednesday morning, Inman said. Autopsy is being done to determine the cause of death. Older female dolphins appear to be in good condition, according to Inman.

It is clear that the ship is leaking oil from the air after cutting the stern earlier this month. Back in December, divers removed more than 320,000 gallons of oil mixed with water from the ship, but tens of thousands of gallons still remain.

What we observed during this operation is exactly why we have a protective barrier and a fleet of dynamic oil response vessels. The pollution response team has been improving operations over the months. However, it was rewarded with a quick response to the products released from the wreck during the lift,” said Efren Lopez, commander of the Federal Coast Guard, and federal field coordinator.

It really weighs on you. You know it enters the community and impacts the environment,” Inman said. “I see the crew trying to get rid of it, but it’s still a huge impact, painful, and happening outside the barriers to environmental protection.” Inman said he is working with a mitigation team to monitor the beach.

Environment monitoring

John Maddox of the Georgia DNR Coastal Resources Division said: “Coastline teams go out daily to keep beaches and swamps free of debris and other impacts.” Water quality monitoring and wildlife surveys to ensure the continued health of St. Simons Sound. Strict environmental monitoring programs are in place.

The third cut is scheduled to start next week. This cut breaks the engine room.

We expect an increase in petroleum products on the water and in the water, followed by an increase in the debris auto parts that are washed away primarily on Jekyll (island),” said Inman.

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Source: News4Jax


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