VideoRay News Feed

Up to date news from the world's largest volume ROV manufacturer.

June 1, 2017 - Earth Resource Group uses a VideoRay Pro 4 to Recover Lake Mead Drowning Victim

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is by far the deadliest National Park, and drownings account for most of the 250+ people who lost their lives there over the last few years.

Fortunately for the families of the most tragic drownings, local environmental consulting company Earth Resource Group of Las Vegas, NV, volunteers their time repeatedly to find and recover victims when the depth and location exceed the capabilities of local responders and the National Park Service (NPS). This has happened repeatedly – in 2015, using a VideoRay Pro 4 and Smart Tether, they located a victim in over 300 feet (over 90 meters of water) in under an hour .

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2014 Lake Mead Victim Recovery

Earlier this month, Steve Schafer, Todd Osmundson and Steve Fanell of Earth Resource Group once again located and recovered a victim in less than an hour. The scenario was all too common – an accident near a dock involving a poor swimmer who entered the water without a personal flotation device (PFD,) and drowned nearby. The location and recovery were hampered by hazardous underwater conditions at the scene. According to Schafer, "We used the Pro 4 with BlueView Sonar and Smart Tether. The NPS apparently had already cleared the area with their Edgetech side scan sonar and followed up with an ROV they have with video only. They had no luck. We found the victim in 42 minutes after we were set up. We could have done the recovery but the coroner has the final call and they asked Las Vegas Metro Dive Team to come out. We kept the ROV at the victim and the team followed the tether down to do the recovery. This site was insane with underwater cables and junk (old dock that sank etc.) that are used to anchor the marina. Looked like a spider web on the sonar. A 22 year old young man (poor swimmer) that tried to jump in and retrieve a tube that floated away. We found him in 74 feet of water about 90 feet from the end of the dock."

Two lessons from this tragedy are worth emphasizing and repeating. ALWAYS wear a Personal Flotation Device when near water or on a boat. Even if you feel you don't need it, you can set an example for others. The second is to use technology in hazardous conditions like this search – these conditions would have been very hazardous to human divers, but with the appropriate technology and expert operators, the location and recovery can be done without risk of injury or worse.

More information on this recovery

Earth Resources Group 

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MAY 12, 2017 – NH Fish & Game Conservation Officers utilize VideoRay Pro 4 to locate and recover multiple drowning victims

Lt. Bradley Morse, who was on scene and in charge of the search and recovery efforts, requested the Sonar/ROV team and Airboat Team to respond and assist with the search of the missing snowmobilers.The Sonar/ROV team was transported via airboat to the location in which the helmet of the missing snowmobiler off Long Island was located.The VideoRay Pro 4 was deployed in 7 degree F weather in the dark of night amongst the ice floes.The body of the snowmobiler was located within fifteen minutes.Pictures were taken for the medical examiner as the victim lay on the lake bottom, 21 feet below the surface.The victim was then recovered with the use of a large treble hook held in the manipulator of the ROV.The total search and recovery effort was completed in less than an hour.

The Sonar/ROV team then reassembled with the airboat team in the early morning to search for the second missing snowmobiler.Once again, the VideoRay Pro 4 was deployed from the airboat where the snowmobiler was last seen.Within twenty minutes, this snowmobiler was located and recovered from the lake floor at 73 feet.

There were many lessons learned over the cold and very tragic weekend.Most importantly, the teamwork amongst conservation officers, local fire departments, local police departments and marine patrol was instrumental in the successful search and recovery mission.The information sharing, witness interviews and the preservation of the PLS (place last seen) was key.

The VideoRay Pro 4 ROV earned its worthiness, keeping searchers out in the elements for a minimal amount of time and eliminating numerous dangerous deep ice dives. The reliability of the Pro-4 was proven as it worked through the cold ice water without issue, while providing clear pictures and video of the recovery.

The dedication and professionalism of the Sonar/ROV and Airboat teams also proved immeasurable.The repetitive training throughout 2016 was a key element, as the officers were confident in their equipment and knew exactly how to use it to its full potential. To complete two flawless missions, back to back, in darkness and cold, is evidence of the team's success.

Thanks to VideoRay for their quality product, the Conservation Officers for their dedication and professionalism and the Command Staff for their support, the families of these tragedies will be forever grateful for the timely and respectful recovery of their loved ones.

PHOTO CREDIT:: CO Joseph Canfield - New Hampshire Fish & Game Department

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NOVEMBER 15, 2016 – Police Special Operations Group (GOPE) in Valparaiso, Chile use Underwater Robot Frequently

Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from VideoRay in US finds drowning victims, keeps GOPE divers safe

In 2016, GOPE in Valparaiso, Chile contacted Diving Services for assistance in understanding and obtaining underwater technology to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and safety of their diving operations. These frequently involved locating and recovering drowning victims, in addition to other difficult and hazardous operations. Santiago Gutiérrez of Diving Services, a retired navy diver and diving instructor, was intimately familiar with both the tasks and the technology involved, and provided the best solution, a VideoRay Pro 4 unit with BlueView multibeam sonar, and manipulator for retrieving objects.

Since acquiring the unit, it has been very effective and reliable, working with its sonar unit in limited visibility to search for hours nonstop. Unlike divers, there are no time or depth limits for a dive, and temperature does not affect its operation. The Valparaiso GOPE has been very busy assisting other units throughout the country, demonstrating the use and effectiveness of this technology. While there is just one unit in all of Chile at the moment, additional purchases are in process.

The CEO of VideoRay, Scott Bentley, and sales executive Erick Estrada, recently visited Chile to learn more about how VideoRays are used in that country – where sales of VideoRay ROVs have been particularly strong, mainly for the aquaculture industry. On his visit to GOPE Valparaiso, Mr. Bentley engaged in in-depth discussions and enjoyed traditional Chilean empanadas and wine.

en español


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Photo Captions:

1.  GOPE VideoRay Pro 4 with small generator deployed from an inflatable boat. /   Videoray del GOPE con generador pequeño operando de un bote inflable.

2.  The rugged VideoRay Pro 4 equipment on the way to a mission. /  El Robusto equipo VideoRay Pro4 en su camino a cumplir su misión. 

3.   Extremely portable VideoRay deployed from remote shoreline. /  El extremadamente portatíl VideoRay desplegado desde una remota playa.

4.  All GOPE members are trained in diving.The VideoRay is an invaluable assistant. /  Todo el Personal del GOPE es entrenado en buceo. El equipo VideoRay es un invaluable asistente. 

4. Mr. Bentley and Mr. Estrada from VideoRay in the US, with members of GOPE Valparaiso.  /  Sr. Bentley y el Sr. Estrada de VideoRay en los Estados Unidos, con miembros del GOPE Valparaíso

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NOVEMBER 15, 2016 – El Grupo de Operaciones Especiales de Carabineros (GOPE) en Valparaíso, Chile , usa frecuentemente Robot Submarino

Vehículo Operado Remoto (ROV) fabricado por VideoRay es usado para encontrar victimas ahogadas, manteniendo seguro a los buzos. 

En el año 2016. El GOPE de Valparaíso, Chile, contactó a Diving Service para que lo asesorará para entender y obtener tecnología submarina para mejorarla efectividad, eficiencia y seguridad en sus operaciones de buceo. Estas operaciones frecuentemente involucran la búsqueda y recuperación de víctimas ahogadas, además de otras tareas de gran dificultad o peligro. Santiago Gutierrez, miembro de Diving Service, buzo de salvataje de la Armada Chilena e instructor de buceo, está intimamente familiarizado con ambas tareas y la tecnología envuelta en este tipo de operaciones, entregando la mejor solución: Un VideoRay Pro 4 con sonar Multihaz Blueview y manipulador para recuperación de objetos. 

Desde la adquisición de la unidad, esta ha sido muy efectiva y confinable, trabajando con su sonar en limitada visibilidad por horas sin detención. A diferencia de los buzos, no existe límites de tiempo o profundidad para los buceos y la temperature no afecta la operación. El GOPE de Valparaíso ha estado muy ocupado asistiendo a otras unidades a lo largo del país, demostrando el uso y efectividad de esta tecnología. Por ahora solo está disponible una unidad para el Gope por el momento en todo Chile, pero se encuentran otras en proceso de compra. 

El Gerente General de VideoRay Scott Bentley y el ejecutivo de ventas Erick Estrada, Recientemente visitaron Chile y aprendieron más a cerca de como son utilizados los VideoRay en ese país – donde las ventas de los ROV VideoRay han sido particularmente fuertes, principalmente en la industria de la acuicultura. En su visita al GOPE de Valparaíso, el Señor Bentley sostubo una interesante discusión y disfrutó las tradicionales empanadas y vino Chileno. 


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OCTOBER 13, 2016 – VideoRay plays key role in location and recovery of three drowning victims in Lake Superior

Joint effort by Crossmon Consulting, Bruce's Legacy, Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, and Local Agencies perform deep water recovery safely

The story was very sad, but also not unusual. Three boaters – aged 9, 43, and 61, had been missing for two weeks. A large scale search by the Coast Guard Station Marquette, Michigan, Coast Guard Station Portage, Michigan, Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Canadian Department of National Defense was conducted. Also searching were aircraft from around the U.S. and Canada including C-130s. The search covered 14,000 square miles over 151 hours, but was unsuccessful and therefore called off.

Crossmon Consulting and Bruce's Legacy – both small organizations that are called upon to find drowning victims, sprang into action. Using their collective experience from many successful searches, they used clues such as a final cell phone ping to determine search areas, and towed sidescan sonars to conduct the wide area search. After three days of searching, Keith Cormican of Bruce's Legacy located and identified the a boat the correct shape and size in 280 feet of water – well beyond of reach of most divers – with his Klein Marine Systems 3900 side scan sonar. Crossmon's VideoRay Pro 4 remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was used to confirm that the boat was indeed the right boat, and all three victims were located near the boat. Using the small, portable Pro 4 they retrieved two bodies from the wreck. The third was entangled and needed the efforts of an intervention-class ROV.

A few days later, the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, using a boat from Michigan Tech, used a larger vehicle with a cutter to free and recover the final victim. The efforts of several specialists were involved in this project – Tom Crossmon and Dave Phillips of Crossmon Consulting, Keith Cormican and Beth Darst of Bruce's Legacy, and Hans VanSumeren and John Lutchko from Great Lakes Water Studies, among many.


Bruce's Legacy: Houghton-Hancock Michigan, Lake Superior Search 

Duluth News Tribune: Bodies of Michigan boaters recovered in Lake Superior 

TV 6 News Report: Two out of Three Missing Boaters Recovered in Lake Superior

Northwestern Michigan College

TV 6 Investigation now closed following the recovery of missing boater's bodies


Tom Crossmon and Dave Phillips of Crossmon Consulting, Keith Cormican and Beth Darst of Bruce's Legacy

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VideoRay Newsletter Q3 2016: Pro 4 Full Qualified and Certified IP65 Topside

Many underwater vehicle missions – particularly in the defense and first responder sectors, require operations from small, open boats in high seas or heavy rain. VideoRay is now delivering Pro 4 topside control panels that are fully qualified and certified IP65 compliant – which means they are certified to operate in these conditions. This includes compliance of all interconnected components during operation - most IP65 ROV systems from competitors (including laptops) are only compliant if they are operated stand alone on internal batteries. IP65 compliance delivers all-weather and small unprotected vessel operational capabilities – in fact VideoRays are the only systems that can handle active operation in these conditions.

The IP Code, International Protection Marking Definition

Visit VideoRay website for more detail for the VideoRay Pro 4 IP-65 Control Panel

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