Swimmers warned about oil after Georgia ship spill

Officials advised swimmers and fishermen to watch out for oil sheens off Georgia's islands. The oil was spilled from an oil-laden cargo ship that had been overturned while it was being dismantled. The Coastal Health District issued an alert Thursday for waters off Jekyll Island and St. Simons Islands hours after a significant amount of oil from nearby Golden Ray escaped a barrier surrounding the ship. Crews were removing a fifth section from the ship when oil started to leak. The ship capsized in September 2019, with approximately 4,200 cars in its cargo decks. About half of the ship is still partially submerged at St. Simons Island (70 miles/112 km south of Savannah). Crews used oil skimmers and absorbent boom to capture the fuel. Officials claim it is difficult to estimate the amount of fuel that was spilled. According to the health district, swimmers and fishers should avoid oily areas and should not swim in any. In the event of oil contact or tar balls, it is recommended to wash your hands with soap and water. In November, demolition crews started to work on the removal of the Golden Ray. They cut it into eight large chunks and placed them on barges. Officials had hoped that the work would be completed by January last year, but there have been numerous delays. Although most of the fuel aboard the ship was removed from its tanks before the demolition began, officials said that they were aware of the possibility for further leakages. Crews also removed oil from the ship, which had escaped the environmental protection barrier in June. Learn more about Virus and hurricane season delays removal of cargo shipwrecks 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Without permission, this material may not be broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.