Golden Ray Response: Source of ‘White Smoke’ Secured

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October 22, 2019 by Mike Schuler

golden ray car carrier
Unified Command response crews stabilize the source of white smoke on the motor vessel Golden Ray in Brunswick, Ga, Oct. 20, 2019

The Unified Command responding to the overturned Golden Ray in St. Simons Sound, Georgia said the source of white smoke that was emanating from over the weekend has been secured. 

Crews will continue to closely monitor the situation with a safety boat and a tugboat equipped with firefighting equipment. Air monitoring around the vessel and in the community has shown no signs of impact.

The Unified Command confirmed Sunday that “white smoke” was coming from the overturned pure car and truck carrier. A tugboat was seen performing cooling on the hull as the source was investigated with the use of overflights and surface-level salvage teams. 

The cause of the smoke is unknown at this time, the Unified Command said Tuesday. 

A 150-yard safety zone remains in effect around the Golden Ray and commercial traffic has not been affected by this incident, the Unified Command added. 

According to the latest figures, 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.

Salvage experts have determined conditions will not permit the vessel to be refloated and safely removed in one piece. Therefore, crews have opted to dissemble the vessel on site by cutting into the hull and removing all components and cargo. 

The Golden Ray was carrying about 4,200 vehicles when it lost stability and grounded in St. Simons Bay as it departed Georgia’s Port of Brunswick on September 8.

Four of the ship’s twenty-four crew members were initially reported missing, but they were later located and rescued after some 30 hours stuck inside the vessel. Officials at the port reported that the Brunswick Bar pilot for intentionally grounding the ship, preventing an even worse disaster.

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