Boulders on track caused wreck to tumble into depths over 200 feet; pictures and video show remarkable preservation
This story starts over a hundred years ago when a steam locomotive, a tender, and two box cars hit rock fall debris and fell off a Cliffside rail into Lake Superior. Three crew members died in the accident, but the missing rail equipment was not found until 2014, where one of the box cars was located by Terry Irvine of Ingersoll, PN, Paul Turpin of Discovery Charters in Rossport, ON and Bob Krause of Schreiber, ON. They vowed to return and continue to search, and two years later they did. On July 22nd, Tom Crossmon of Duluth, MN offered his 24 foot Lake Assault boat, ROV, and considerable ROV experience to a crew that also consisted of Ron Benson, Todd Janquart, Dave Schlenker, and Mac Schlenker. Tom's VideoRay Pro 4 ROV could spend unlimited time at any depth that the search would require, and was equipped with imaging sonar. This high tech search tool, combined with Tom's skill and a bit of luck, allowed him to located the locomotive and the remaining cars, and to image them along with the divers after the location was determined.
Recounting his experience, Tom noted "I was blown away to be the first person in 106 years to see this train as were the others on the boat with me." There are plans to return to the wreck site in August to do more documentation of the remarkably good condition it is in.
Mälardalen Fire & Rescue Recovered Car and Drowning Victim First Reported Missing in 2012
A VideoRay Pro 4 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) training exercise proved to be even more productive than normal for the Mälardalen Fire & Rescue (Swedish: "Mälardalen Brand & Räddningsförbund") , when they discovered a sunken car last November. A Pro 4 ROV equipped with BlueView imaging sonar located the car laying on its roof at the bottom of Elbakajen Harbor in Västerås, Sweden during a training exercise led by BUVI Undervatteninspektion AB, VideoRay's Swedish representative. The VideoRay ROV was able to get close enough to the vehicle to read the registration number which was then cross-checked with the automobile registry to confirm that it was reported missing. The Fire & Rescue team then used the VideoRay ROV to guide divers down to the car, where they discovered the remains of the presumed driver, an elderly man who has been missing since 2012. After the police were notified, the Mälardalen Fire & Rescue team began salvage.
It remains unclear how long the car and victim had been underwater, and no names or identifying information has been released by local police.
Mälardalen is the first fire department in Sweden to use a VideoRay ROV for their search & rescue (SAR) operations. Because of poor visibility in the surrounding water, Lake Mälardalen, the Fire & Rescue team acquired their Pro 4 to assist with underwater SAR missions. They currently have two trained ROV pilots on every shift, but plan to complete training for all their staff by the end of summer 2016, according to head diver Bengt Jacobsen.
Click "Continue Reading" for images and news articles from the recovery in Västerås Harbor
Pottstown, PA – VideoRay, the largest volume producer of underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) systems is pleased to announce a new partnership with KSI Data Sciences, the leaders in video and data management for remote sensors, to provide MissionCaster® live video sharing technology on VideoRay Pro 4 and Mission Specialist Series ROV systems beginning in the summer of 2016.
MissionCaster is a mobile, network enabled (LTE), video encoder designed for remote sensing platforms that can securely broadcast live video to the cloud for real-time situational awareness, exploitation, and sharing to anyone in the world via a web browser and internet connection. It is part of the MissionKeeper™ cloud-based video and data management platform.
Initially conceived for the aerial drone market, MissionCaster transitions seamlessly to the underwater world making your VideoRay ROV missions available in real-time to anyone you choose to share with. The MissionCaster viewer's slick user interface not only displays the low-latency live video stream from the ROV, but also allows the viewing of a live, moving map with the ROV's positioning and mission history.
All video and data from the mission is compiled and can be set to automatically be sent to one of several popular online services such as Dropbox or Google Drive. If a network is unavailable at the mission site, MissionCaster can also archive the video and data onto a removable SD storage card (up to 512 GB).
From Scott Bentley, Founder and CEO of VideoRay LLC: "VideoRay has always been on the forefront of underwater technology, so we are thrilled to partner with KSI to bring our customers the best possible ROV experience. MissionCaster adds a much-needed capability to the Pro 4 and Mission Specialist Series ROV systems: easily and efficiently sharing a live stream to a larger audience."
From Jon Gaster, Co-Founder and CEO of KSI Data Sciences: "We are delighted to be partnering with VideoRay, their market leading ROV systems are a perfect complement for our video and data management and collaboration tools. We believe the market will be quick to recognize VideoRay's continuing success in providing solutions that address customers' complex operational issues."
The MissionCaster HD technology will be on display at Oceanology 2016 at ExCel London, UK in VideoRay's stand (L200) March 15-17, 2016.
Presentation Scheduled for Wednesday March 16 at 15:30-15:55
VideoRay's newest product line, the Mission Specialist Series ROV systems will be featured in the New Products Showcase at Oceanology International. The presentation will take place on Wednesday March 16 at 15:30-15:55 in the Trade & Innovation Theatre on the exhibition floor.
With a depth rating of 2 kilometers, a host of new capabilities, and a flexible modular platform, the MSS ROV Systems are faster, more powerful, and more capable than any other small ROV on the market today. Each MSS ROV is custom-configured with your specific needs, operations, and environment in mind – no more "work-arounds" to retrofit a generic off-the-shelf solution. Mission Specialist Series ROVs can do what you want and go where you want, when you need to be there.
If you can't make Wednesday's presentation, you can visit VideoRay in stand L200 throughout the show, where sales and engineering staff will be on hand to answer any questions about the MSS concept, technology, and applications. See you in London!
In New Orleans for Underwater Intervention? Stop by Booth #503 to get your hands on some of our latest technology, including the VideoRay Voyager ROV system, the rotating manipulator arm, and the new Pro 4 ROV simulator software from GRi Simulations.
ROV and GoPro® Captured Imagery of Tulsamerican to Create 3D Model
A VideoRay Pro 4 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) was deployed in the Adriatic Sea near Vis, Croatia to record video and still images of the sunken B-24 bomber, Tulsamerican, as part of an archaeological survey sponsored by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University. VideoRay consultant Steve Van Meter assisted with ROV operations on the dives, which took place in late September 2015.
Led by Megan Lickliter-Mundon, the project's goal is to learn more about the wreck itself, document its corrosion for comparison to similar wrecks, and ultimately to create a digital 3D model of the wreck site. "Photos and video can only show so much," said Lickliter-Mundon. "With a 3D model, you get the full scope of the site and can better understand the story."
The Pro 4 ROV was equipped with a GoPro® camera to capture both standard and high definition imagery of Tulsamerican. "We wanted to use the Pro 4 because the ROV can sustain repeated dives in the deeper sections of the wreck, which are required by this project," said Lickliter-Mundon. "The VideoRay's size and agility allowed us to navigate in and around the delicate fragments of the wreckage."
Tulsamerican sank with three crew members on December 14, 1944 after sustaining damages in an airfight during World War II. Beyond its general significance as a war plane, Tulsamerican is specifically iconic for the residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma, as it was the last B-24 bought and produced by their local aircraft factory.
For more information on the Tulsamerican survey, visit the project page on the Institute of Nautical Archaeology
Click "Continue Reading" to see images from the Tulsamerican survey
Pro 4 ROV Uses V-130 Imaging Sonar to Navigate Murky WaterA VideoRay Pro 4 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) equipped with BlueView V-130 imaging sonar was used in a recent inspection of the Lake Monroe Railroad bridge in Sanford, Florida. The ROV inspected the bridge's structures, foundation, and pilings in the St. Johns River. Because the river carries high amounts of tanic acid, the water is much darker than usual. Fortunately, the VideoRay Pro 4's lighting and sonar capability were able to view the structure and navigate to critical points for inspection.
Click Continue Reading for more images from the Lake Monroe railroad bridge inspection.
Pro 4 ROV Will Serve the Entire State of Alaska
The Alaska State Police recently purchased a VideoRay Pro 4 Remotely Operated Vehicle System to assist with search & recovery (SAR) operations across the entire state of Alaska. The Pro 4 Plus BASE ROV system also included a Teledyne BlueView V-130 imaging sonar and rotating manipulator arm, two essential accessories for SAR missions, especially in challenging environments like Alaska.
The Alaska State Troopers decided to purchase the VideoRay Pro 4 ROV after the ROV's benefits were clearly demonstrated during an underwater drowning victim recovery near Bethel earlier this year. Immediately following the success of the Bethel recovery, the Kodiak Area Native Association began securing funds from government grants and voluntary donations to purchase a VideoRay ROV for the entire state.
"[The Pro 4] ROV allows us to put a piece of equipment under the water that gives us a sonar picture as well as a video picture to locate quickly and recover those victims a lot faster. [The ROV] can be utilized in summer and wintertime, under the ice or without ice, and in a lot of different currents," said Captain Andrew Merrill, an Alaska State Trooper with the Village Public Safety Officer Program.
Merrill anticipates that the Pro 4 ROV will be used statewide for a wide range of underwater applications, especially drowning victim searches and recoveries. "We realized that having [the Pro 4 ROV] here would allow us to find and recover search and rescue victims a lot faster and help bring closure to families who had lost a loved one."
As of November 2015, nine people have been trained and certified to operate the VideoRay Pro 4. According to Merrill, those individuals will be responsible for both operating the equipment and training additional state troopers on the ROV.
Click "Continue Reading" to see video of Captain Merrill discussing how they plan to use their new Pro 4 ROV.
Inspection Conducted by BUVI Undervatteninspektion AB
A VideoRay Pro 4 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) is currently being used to inspect the Göta Kanal and its infrastructure, as part of a massive restoration project for the 200 year old canal. The ROV inspection was commissioned by the Swedish Government as part of the canal's renovation, which is expected to cost around 100 million SEK ($11.5 million USD).
The Pro 4 ROV, equipped with a BlueView V-130 imaging sonar and standard manipulator arm, is being operated by Fredrik and Marie Fleetwood of BUVI Undervatteninspektion AB. They are tasked with inspecting all the bridges and locks between Motala and Mem, approximately 89 km (55 miles) of the 190 km canal. The inspections include 30 targets of interest, including several bridges and locks with 4 wing walls each ranging from 5 to 20 meters long. BUVI began the VideoRay inspections last month and expect to continue through the end of November.
The VideoRay ROV inspections will be an integral part of the canal's restoration. The Göta Kanal is both culturally and financially significant for Sweden. Considered "Sweden's Greatest Wonder" and one of its greatest engineering feats, the canal was built between 1810 and 1832 during one of the largest construction projects ever conducted in Sweden. Parts of the canal are still used to transport cargo, however its main use is tourism and transportation. Every year, around 2 million tourists travel down the Göta Kanal on "pleasure cruises".
Pro 4 ROV Equipped with BlueView Sonar Inspected Water Intake Structures
A VideoRay Pro 4 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) was recently deployed as part of clean-up efforts on a coal-fired power plant. VideoRay consultant Steve Van Meter supported Hudson Engineering during a water intake structure inspection on Calpine's Deepwater Generating Station near Pennsville, New Jersey.
Owned and operated by Pepco Holdings, Deepwater Generating Station is a legacy coal-fired plant that is currently being renovated into a more modern Oil & Gas power plant. They plan to use the same intake structures, which pull in water from the nearby Delaware River. The Pro 4 inspection found the intakes to still be in good condition.
Hudson Engineering is a Camden, NJ-based marine engineering firm that provides services across the United States, mainly in the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley waterfront regions. They are currently working with Calpine to reduce emissions from coal-fired plants like the Deepwater Generating Station, without completely shutting down the plants. The coal firing will be replaced by natural gas, a cleaner alternative.
Click "Continue Reading" to see pictures of the Deepwater Generating Station inspection.
Attendees from Pacific Coast Units Learn How to Operate and Maintain ROVs
Members of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) recently completed training on their VideoRay Pro 4 ROVs and Teledyne BlueView imaging sonars. Led by Brett Kolb and Craig Thorngren, the USCG training took place in Alameda, California last month. The 16 trainees came from 4 different USCG units around the Pacific Coast area, including San Francisco, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Honolulu, and Seattle.
The USCG training included a standard Pro 4 basic operator training course with a sonar overview, as well as an additional two days for an advanced maintenance course.
The USCG took advantage of VideoRay's onsite training program, which brings a certified VideoRay trainer directly to the operator's location. This option allows for a more customized and personal training experience, during which operators can learn how to use their ROV in the specific water environment where it will be typically deployed.
Click Continue Reading for more images and video from the USCG ROV training