ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — 12:53 P.M. 9/12 UPDATE: Gov. Kemp announced Thursday that the Port of Brunswick is "back open for business."
Action News Jax has learned 4,300 feet of floating barriers (boom) near the ship and along Bird Island has been created around the cargo vessel to contain oil sheening. At least 12 ships and 179 people are involved in the response. Officials say creating a plan to salvage the ship will take time.
There have been no impacts to air quality according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resource.
If anyone sees wildlife animals covered in oil, they are asked to report it to the Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Oil Spill Hotline at 800-261-0980.
The St. Simons port and channel remains closed to commercial traffic.
Any buisnesses affected commercially may call 888-850-8486 to report a claim.
The Georgia Department of Public Health's Coastal Health District is asking those who plan to go swimming or wade at the beach on St. Simons or Jekyll Islands "to check the water for any signs of oil, and use common sense."
UPDATE, 9/10/19, 8:45 a.m.: Coast Guard crews have shifted focus to environmental protection, and are working with salvage crews to remove the Golden Ray. There are currently no leaks from the vessel, only a light residual sheen.
UPDATE, 9/9/19, 6 p.m.: The fourth trapped crew member has been rescued.
UPDATE, 9/9/19, 3:36 p.m.: The Coast Guard said it was able to rescue three of the four trapped crew members. The fourth survivor is stuck behind glass in an engineering control room and the USCG is still working to get him out.
UPDATE, 9/19/19, 10:56 a.m.: The Coast Guard was able to drill a hole through the hull of the ship and use a borescope to see the missing crew members, according to the USCG.
UPDATE 9/9/19, 10:56 a.m.: Rescue crews have made contact with crew members, Coast Guard reports.
UPDATE, 9/9/19, 9:40 a.m.: Rescue crews report hearing noises inside the ship, according to an AP report.
UPDATE, 9/9/19: Four crew members are still missing within the Golden Ray vehicle carrier. The Coast Guard was back out beginning day two of rescue efforts early Monday.
The Georgia Port Authority says the ship was trying to make a right turn when it flipped, and that 4,200 cars were on board at the time.
UPDATE, 9/8/19: The Coast Guard and port partners are currently searching for four crew members aboard the disabled cargo vessel that was on fire Sunday morning, USCG says.
Currently, 20 people have been safely removed. The vessel is listing heavily in the St. Simons Sound.
The cargo vessel, Golden Ray (656 feet long and 106 feet wide), flipped on its side off St. Simons Island, Ga. at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the Georgia Ports Authority. The call initially came in as a ship that had capsized.
Crews have arrived and are evacuating all crew members.
Glynn County first responders are helping with the response where possible, but say the ultimate responsibility lies with the United States Coast Guard. Rescue boats and helicopters have been out since approximately 8:45 a.m.
Injuries have been reported. The response and investigation are still underway.
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