Search and recovery operations are conducted daily throughout the globe. These dedicated teams are called to action for a variety of missions from drowning victims to location of missing evidence. What are some of the tools that both help divers in a time of need while also limiting their exposure to dangerous elements?
Side Scan Sonar
Side Scan Sonar is considered to be an essential piece of equipment for search and recovery operations. This sonar is the ideal tool for teams searching for drowning victims, missing evidence, sunken vessels and submerged vehicles. The main feature is producing detailed images of the underwater environment regardless of water clarity. It scans several hundred feet of ocean, lake, or river bottom with each pass of the boat, allowing large areas to be searched quickly. Fishers’ Side Scan Sonar is available in either a 600kHz or 1,200kHz frequency, a dual frequency (600/1,200kHz) system or a 450/900kHz CHIRP system.
SCAN-650 Sector Scanning Sonar
Sector Scanning is another sonar tool much like the Side Scan Sonar. Scanning sonar is an ideal tool for underwater search because it produces a ‘picture’ of the underwater environment regardless of the water visibility. The SCAN650 can be mounted on a remote operated vehicle (ROV), pole-mounted for use from a small boat in shallow water, or mounted on a tripod off the bottom of the water. Functionality includes high-resolution images, 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2.0 degree steps, 360° continuous sweep or any portion of 360°, and target sizing capabilities.
Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Underwater search and recovery missions are time-sensitive operations often performed in extremely challenging conditions. During an emergency situation, usually the first people to enter the water are fire & rescue, police dive teams or public safety dive teams. From frozen ice searches, to evidence retrieval in high-current waters to port security and hull inspections, there are so many conditions that pose a threat to our great men and women divers. How does technology help play a role in limiting the dangers? An ROV is deployed! On average, divers can work up to an hour with multiple breaks in between dives. Depending on the depths being dived there may even be time needed for decompression. ROV’s like the SeaLion-2 or SeaOtter-2 help mitigate some of this risk. With an ROV divers are able to search deeper depths and locate critical areas allowing for efficient use of time and the ability to zero in on specific areas. ROVs also allow divers to remain rested until they are needed during the rescue process. Attach a scanning sonar, like Fishers’ SCAN650, onto the ROV and now you have the ultimate vehicle to search in any type of water, regardless of clarity.
Technology plays a key role in successful search and recovery operations. It helps in risk mitigation, time savings and overall odds of someone or something being found underwater. The vast waters of this globe can be beautiful, fun, adventurous or deadly – the best is to be prepared with the right equipment for when the time calls for recovery and that’s where JW Fishers’ underwater search equipment is here to help.
For more information, go to www.jwfishers.com