New Jersey firm overseeing work at capsized ship

MOORESTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- When big ships get in trouble in American waters, Gallagher Marine Systems based in Moorestown in Burlington County often gets the call to oversee any possible environmental cleanup.

The company works as the representative of the ship's owners.

Gallagher Marine Systems has dispatched about 35 staffers near the location where the car carrier M/V Golden Ray capsized early Sunday morning.

The ship carrying automobiles had recently departed Brunswick, Georgia when it ended up rolling onto its side. There are reports some oil has been seen in the water near the troubled ship.

Already the company says more than 3,000 feet of oil containment booms have been deployed.

Vice President of Operations Thomas Wiker said the firm is overseeing contractors who are using absorbent material as well as units called skimmers. He said they are "picking up the oil that is floating on the water."

Wiker said since the incident occurred in water subject to tides; it is possible some oil will spread toward environmentally sensitive areas on nearby land.

He said the firm will use "trajectory modeling" in relation to tides, currents and wind to try to anticipate where the oil might travel.

Armed with that information, the contractors can stage materials to protect sensitive areas from an oil slick.
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