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

News & Events

Swimmers & Fishers Advised of Oil Impacts on Jekyll Island Coastline

Yellow graphic text swimming fishing use caution

The Coastal Health District is alerting swimmers and recreational fishers to the presence of oil on the beaches of Jekyll Island. According to the St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command, responders are finding bits of weathered oil including tarballs smaller than the size of a quarter washing up onto the sand at Jekyll Island.

The public advisory status for swimming and fishing remains cautionary. Beaches are not closed but beachgoers should stay alert. Swim and fish with caution and avoid contact with oil on the beach. If you step on a tar ball or get oil on your skin, wash off the oil with soap and clean water. There is no need to use harsh detergents, solvents or other chemicals to wash oil from skin or clothing – these could be harmful to you.

If you see a sheen of oil on the surface of the water, get out of the water and report the sheen to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. Do not swim or fish in an area with a visible oil sheen.

On September 30th, there was a discharge of pollutants from the capsized motor vehicle carrier Golden Ray. For additional information on the incident response, monitor the response website at

The public advisory status for swimming and fishing may be lowered or elevated based on new 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 page will be updated as the situation changes.

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