Authorities warn public of oil pollution from capsized Golden Ray

Golden Ray. Credit: AJC

Earlier this week, authorities in the US state of Georgia warned that a pollution discharge had spilled from the Golden Ray cargo vessel that capsized in St Simons Sound last month.

On Monday, a public advisory for beaches in the area was changed from “green” to “yellow” – indicating that beachgoers should exercise caution until more is known about the ship’s effect. Authorities urged members of the public not to swim if they see oil on the water.

On Wednesday, salvage workers had removed 136,000 gallons of fuel from the vessel, and the source of Monday’s oil discharge had been located and reinforced. Skimming vessels continue to recover oil from the water and 4,572 m of containment boom has been deployed to protect vulnerable areas.

The Marshall Islands-flagged Golden Ray overturned with a fire on board on 8 September. At the time of the incident, there were 23 crew members and a pilot on the ship, all of whom were later rescued. More than 350 responders are still on site to mitigate environmental damage.

According to cleanup officials quoted in local media reports, it could take up to months before Golden Ray can be removed from the site of its grounding.

Golden Ray was bound for Baltimore, Maryland, when it overturned.