BRUNSWICK, Georgia – Pollution crews worked on Saturday to contain the spilled oil after demolition crews finished cutting the sixth of eight sections of a giant freighter that overturned as it left Brunswick port ago almost two years.
The oil could affect the water and beaches around St. Simons and Jekyll Islands, Georgia Coastal Health District spokesperson Sally Silbermann said.
“We have all the means deployed and we are moving quickly to contain any dense oil that has migrated past the (environmental protection barrier) with the changing tides,” said incident commander Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems in a statement Saturday night. “Our people have been trained and the equipment is ready to protect people and the environment in St. Simons Sound. “
The sixth section of the freighter was separated on Friday evening, said Michael Himes, spokesman for the United Coast Guard’s United Command. On Saturday, a pilot moved the sixth section away from the rest of the half-submerged Golden Ray wreckage, The Brunswick News reported.
This leaves only one more cut before the diminishing leftovers are completely removed.
The 3,695 metric ton (4,073 US ton) mass of steel is suspended by tension wire from the arched rafters of the 255-foot-high (85-meter-high) VB 10,000. The VB 10,000 and its cargo are inside the 1 mile perimeter environmental barrier that surrounds the recovery site.
The Golden Ray, carrying more than 1,400 vehicles, overturned after leaving the Port of Brunswick along the Georgia coast on September 8, 2019. Port pilot Jonathan Tennant and about two dozen crew members at edge were rescued and survived.
Removal of Section 6 will leave approximately 153.5 feet of wreckage in St. Simons Sound. Section 6 is destined for a dismantling site on the East River in Brunswick, where it will join Section 3 of 3,640 tonnes. Each of the remaining four sections will be cut into a dozen smaller pieces at the location, loaded onto a barge and transported to the Modern American Recycling Services facility in Gibson, Louisiana.
Marine engineers suspect that these four center sections suffered most of the structural damage when the Golden Ray rolled over onto its port side on September 8, 2019, as it was heading out to sea with its cargo. The four outer sections were all transported by entire barge and directly to the MARS facility on the Louisiana Gulf Coast.
The cut to remove Section 6 began on July 22.
The Unified Command advises sailors to stay clear of the perimeter security zone, which has been increased from 150 meters to 200 meters.
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