ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) – Crews on the water and at nearby beaches clean up oil spills from the remains of an overturned freighter being dismantled along the Georgian coast.
Responders began to mop up the oil from the wreckage on Monday and still found some shine in the water on Wednesday as well as small globs of oil on the sandy shores of St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Himes, a spokesperson. for the multi-agency command overseeing the demolition.
“We are looking for these kinds of impacts every day,” Himes said. “Most of the time, we can’t find them. But when we do, that’s why we have the equipment and the people at hand ”to answer.
The Golden Ray, a South Korean auto carrier, capsized on September 8, 2019, shortly after leaving the port of Brunswick. Demolition work to remove the wreckage into eight giant pieces began in November. About half of the vessel remains partially submerged off St. Simons Island.
Most of the fuel on the ship was siphoned from its tanks long before the demolition began. Himes said engineers suspected the oil leaks first spotted on Monday came from residue that had become caught inside the severed pipes in the submerged part of the wreckage.
Some of the oil escaped from an environmental barrier surrounding the wreckage. Workers from 15 boats washed off the oil and luster from the water using an absorbent boom, Himes said.
On shore, responders used shovels to scoop up the oil globules and surrounding sand.
Fletcher Sams of the Altamaha Riverkeeper conservation group said the leak showed the limited ability of the floating barrier around the wreckage to hold oil amid tidal currents in the strait.
“We have a lot of sparkle outside the barrier,” Sams told Brunswick News. He said the barrier boom “has the effect of slowing down some of that, but as evidenced today, it’s certainly not foolproof.”