Fishers - Press Release - April 18, 2004
ROV helps solve Lake Seneca mystery
Aquatic Center of Rochester is a
full service dive shop in Henrietta, NY. In addition
to carrying a complete line of scuba equipment,
and offering full range of scuba training courses,
company owner Joe Plano also provides ROV inspection
services. Several years ago Joe purchased his
Fisher SeaOtter ROV to perform an inspection on
one of New York’s barge canal system locks.
The job involved penetrating a tunnel at the bottom
of the 40 foot deep lock to locate and examining
a ½ ton steel gate that had jammed in the
open position. The SeaOtter was able to complete
the inspection, in near zero visibility, and a
videotape was supplied to state canal engineers.
Since that first job Joe has become quite proficient
at handling the SeaOtter and has gained a reputation
as a skilled ROV operator.
Recently Joe was hired by a Massachusetts firm
to help with the recovery of some acoustic equipment
from Lake Seneca, the site of the US Navy’s
sonar test platform. The Seneca Lake Sonar Test
Facility is a field station of the Naval Sea Systems
Command (NAVSEA) and is world renown as a sonar
test site. The 650 foot deep fresh water lake
provides a controlled environment for acoustic
testing in weather conditions that are relatively
calm in comparison to the ocean or Great Lakes.
The facility offers heavy load-handling capability,
an abundance of power, and is located only an
hour from Syracuse or Rochester airports.
An automobile size device had been lowered from
the platform and anchored to the bottom for testing.
When the tests were completed, an explosive charge
was supposed to sever the cable between the device
and the anchor, allowing it to be raised to the
surface. However, after detonating the charge,
the device wouldn’t budge, even under 4,000
lbs of pull from the on-board crane. Why the device
wouldn’t rise to the surface was a mystery
that had the engineers scratching their heads.
A decision was made to cal in Joe with his SeaOtter
to see what was going on.
Maneuvering the ROV through the tangle of cables
to the bottom 500 feet below was no easy task,
but Joe finally managed to locate the acoustic
device. He positioned the ROV to view the cable
connecting the device to the anchor. Using his
“underwater eyeball” he could clearly
see the problem. The explosive charge had severed
the cable, but as the cable passed through the
eye of the anchor, it became twisted and hung
up. Once engineers were able to see the problem,
a solution was quickly implemented and the device
was raised to the surface. Use of the ROV had
eliminated the need for a very expensive deep
water commercial dive operation saving the company
thousands of dollars. Joe and his SeaOtter were
the heroes of the day.
For more information of all of Fishers underwater
search equipment visit their website at www.jwfishers.com.
If you have a job for Joe contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.