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Worry, wonder on St. Simons Island for Elsa's impact on Golden Ray salvage plans

The Golden Ray capsized in 2019. Salvage plans have been ongoing and some riverkeepers are concerned about Elsa and mitigation efforts.

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Along St. Simons Island, there is worry and wonder about what Elsa will do.

“We got the storm coming in and everything. I’m not scared. It hasn’t scared me away yet,” John Clemons told First Coast News.

Clemons is braving the weather, for now. He’s visiting and wasn’t going to let Elsa cancel his fishing plans with his son. He has an eye on his line and the radar.

“Precautionary action is always good," Clemons said. "The weather is so funny. It just turns, you know. You just have to be prepared."

The Golden Ray sits several yards from Clemons' fishing spot and Altamaha Riverkeeper Fletcher Sams calls Elsa’s impact on salvage operations a “large concern.”

“This is probably the closest call that the Golden Ray is going to have. Or at least we are hoping that,” Sams said.

His ‘on the water’ monitoring of any environmental impacts from the ship, including looking for oil sheens, is on pause.

“There will not be any ability to even attempt to mitigate any releases of oil during the storm because there won’t be any ability to have those ships on the water,” he said.

Right now, many are waiting to see what happens, knowing hurricane season is here.

There are no plans to close the bridges. The Glynn County and the City of Brunswick offices plan to remain open Wednesday.

However, the Glynn County Magistrate Court and all public pools and outdoor programs at the Glynn County Public Schools will be closed.

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