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The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

News & Events

Coastal Health District Advises Extra Caution when Swimming, Fishing at Area Beaches

Active release of pollutants from cargo carrier could impact shoreline

The Coastal Health District urges anyone swimming or fishing on Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island to be aware of an active release of pollutants from the cargo carrier Golden Ray. The public advisory status for area beaches has changed from “green” to “yellow” – swimming and fishing are still allowed, but beachgoers should remain especially alert until more is known about the impact of this current discharge.

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According to the St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command, a pollution discharge began Monday afternoon September 30th from the Golden Ray and could have shoreline impacts. For additional information on the incident response, monitor the response website at

Before you swim, check the water for any sign of oil, such as a sheen on the water’s surface. If you see oil in the water, do not swim. Contact the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 to report visible oil on the beach.

If no oil is visible, swim with caution, but remain alert for changing conditions. The same advice applies to recreational fishing: fish with caution, but don’t fish in areas with visible oil on the water.

The public advisory status may be lowered or elevated based on information from responders and results of ongoing water quality tests. Monitor the Coastal Health District web page at for the latest advisory status, as this webpage will be updated as the situation changes.

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