According to an October 20 statement from St. Simons Sound Response, Unified Command response crews managed to stabilize the source of white smoke and “will continue to closely monitor the situation throughout the evening 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 established 150-yard safety zone around the Golden Ray remains in effect and commercial traffic has not been affected by this incident, the authorities explained.
The cause of the smoke is unknown at this time.
Earlier in October, the Unified Command said that lightering operations of the forward fuel oil tanks onboard Golden Ray were completed, with more than 225,000 gallons of fuel having been removed. Lightering of the remaining fuel and lubricant tanks continued.
So far, more than 250,000 gallons of fuel have been removed from the overturned vessel. There are more than 400 people involved in the response with 80 vessels.
The Unified Command is currently developing plans to remove all of the Golden Ray’s hull, components, and cargo by disassembling the vessel in place as maritime experts engaged in the response determined that it is not possible to safely right and refloat the vessel in a fully intact condition.
The Hyundai Glovis-operated car carrier started listing heavily after it became disabled in early September in St. Simons Sound near Brunswick, Georgia. Of the 24 persons on board, 20 were evacuated immediately while the remaining four were extracted in a subsequent operation. The vessel was carrying about 4,000 cars bound for the Middle East at the time.