Underwater Magazine - July/August 2014 - (Page 21)

rescue and recovery Life or Death in the 'Golden Hour' fINDING A VICTIM UNDER WATER within the 'Golden Hour' deter- mines whether a mission is a rescue or a recovery. This life or death moment is given fresh hope with a technological breakthrough by the Los Angeles Long Beach Fire Department and Saab Seaeye engineers. Their joint initiative hopes to cut the search time from an average of three hours, to less than 30 minutes using a cleverly modified Falcon ROV that can rapidly sweep the area. Lives could be saved around the world if this system is adopted widely by rescue services. Initially both teams faced an insurmountable technical problem. Pinpointing a victim on the seabed in dark and murky waters, with only a vague idea of where they entered the water, has long been a frustrating and time-consuming operation. Current practise is to lower tripodmounted sonar from a boat to the seabed at repeated intervals to scan the immediate vicinity - as soft tissue can only be detected at short range by very high-resolution sonar. This grid search from what is called the 'point last seen' can take up to three hours, with divers sent down at intervals to investigate any soundings. Finding a faster solution using ROVmounted sonar seemed impossible, as the kind of high-resolution sonar system able to detect soft tissue is too large and heavy to be mounted on an ROV small enough to be manhandled into the water for rapid deployment. Although the Falcon was the ideal ROV, both in size and technological resources, the team were faced with the problem of trying to fit a metre-long sonar device onto a metre long ROV. Then they came up with an ingenious solution: they split the sonar unit in two. The sonar head was fitted to the rear of the Falcon, with the electronics pack squeezed inside. Yet this was only half the answer. The weight of this kind of sonar would normally sink or destabilise a small ROV. Their solution came in two ways. First, Saab Seaeye engineers discovered a way to manage the buoyancy of the ROV and balance it to stay afloat and remain stable for accurate sonar scanning. Second, they found the Falcon's five powerful thrusters could handle the weight and manoeuvrability, whilst working in currents and deep water. www.adc-int.org ■ www.underwatermagazine.com UnderWater 21 http://www.adc-int.org http://www.underwatermagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underwater Magazine - July/August 2014

Board of Directors
President’s Message
Executive Director’s Message
Commercial Diving in the Inland Sector
Life or Death in the ‘Golden Hour’
Mark V Monument Scholarship
Philippine and US Navy Seabee Divers Conduct Joint Training During Exercise
Joint Underwater Concrete Placement - FOAL Eagle 2014
Seabee Divers Complete Deep Water Mooring Inspections
Artemis Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Searches for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
New Gear
New ADCI Members
Delta Subsea and Foundocean Ink New Deal in Trinidad, Tobago, and Venezuela
Underwater Metal Detectors for Law Enforcement and Commercial Diving
ADCI Advisory Notice Archives
Index to Advertisers

Underwater Magazine - July/August 2014

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