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Seabotix Rugged, Capable, Compact ROV's.

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Seabotix - Press Release - September 2, 2004

SeaBotix News - LBV logs over 3000 dives inspecting fish pens

Port Lincoln, South Australia is one of the largest tuna farming areas in the world. Dozens of pens are scattered throughout Port Lincoln all filled with tuna that is farmed primarily for the Asian markets. When there are millions of dollars worth of fish in the pens it is extremely important that nothing goes wrong.

Last year David Whillas of West Coast Diving purchased two LBV systems specifically for inspecting the tuna pens. David's job is to ensure there are no holes in the nets to let predators such as Great White Sharks in and that there are no dead fish to contaminate the stock.

In the past pens have been inspected by dive teams, but this is not only more expensive but far more dangerous. West Coast Diving is able to inspect more pens in a shorter period of time and keep costs down. Operating often times seven days a week for up to seven months West Coast Diving is kept busy. Over the past two seasons West Coast Diving has logged more than 3000 inspections with the LBV. In a day David may inspect up to twenty pens.

Logging as many dives as David does he has really developed a fine tuned system for inspecting the pens. With a small boat fitted with the LBV David sets out early in the morning. He ties up to the pen and throws the LBV in. David quickly maneuvers the LBV around the pen looking for holes in the net and dead fish "morts". If morts are found David attaches a hook to the LBV, snags the tuna in the mouth and up to the surface. When all is verified to be okay out comes the LBV and off to the next pen.

Reliability and performance are the key features required to make ROV inspections work. "All in all the size, power and reliability of the LBV has made it perfect for this job where other ROVs have failed" according to David. Key features are the powerful brushless thrusters, lateral thruster, 270 degree field of vision and intuitive hand controller. Coming from an ROV background David knows his ROVs and what it takes to get the job done. There are now five LBV systems in operation in Port Lincoln and the only ROV used.



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