Videoray - News - February 15th,
Under Ice Search Uses
in Unique Shallow-water Search
New Orleans, Louisiana, February 15, 2005 - VideoRay
announced today at Underwater Intervention the
details of an unprecedented search using multiple
VideoRay micro-ROVs in extreme conditions. The
3-day search took place from January 9th through
the 11th on the frozen St. Lois River in Duluth,
Jim King the owner of Spirit Lake Marina off
the St. Louis River fell out of his rear-tiller
motorboat while marking the location of buoys
on October 25, 2004. Since the accident there
has been an ongoing search with no successful
results largely because of large area and lack
of witnesses who could identify a ‘point
last seen’. Since the accident the St. Louis
County Sheriffs office has logged more than 3000
hours of search time.
The latest effort to recover Mr. King’s
body came in January when the St. Louis County
Sheriffs office organized a massive rather unique
search. The search occurred on the St. Louis River
which was frozen over more than 15 inches. Eight
VideoRay micro-ROVs were used for the search.
The Sheriffs office developed a search grid covering
a square half mile area.
We began the mission with meticulous planning
and equipment testing stated Robin McCauley 1st
Lieutenant St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad.
VideoRays, generators, tents, heaters, and other
equipment required were pulled out onto the ice
by snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles. Holes
in the ice were cut with an “ice saw”
– a standard Stihl chain saw with environmentally
Six identical micro-ROVs were operated simultaneously
from portable ice houses on the frozen river.
Each VideoRay was equipped with a Desert Star
Pilot positioning system to track the ROVs and
transmit the data wirelessly to the command center
about a half mile from the tracking station.
“As far as we know, this is the first time
in the world anyone has had this many ROVs (Remotely
Operated Vehicles) together to search for a body,”
commented Tom Crossmon of the St. Louis County
Rescue Squad. Crossmon also said the worldwide
ROV community is small; when they e-mailed members
looking for advice, no one said they had encountered
such a large recovery operation.
In addition to the rescue squad, Mark Gleason
of Michigan Technical University participated
with his VideoRay Pro III unit, the local US Coast
Guard Duluth Station, and Douglas County, and
Lake County sent several people to assist. VideoRay
sent Scott Bentley, President, and Marcus Kolb,
Director of Research and Development. VideoRay
donated the use of six VideoRay Pro units, and
used the operation to conduct research into the
use of micro-ROVs for a large scale, shallow water,
under ice search.
“The result of the search was better than
expected – we were able to search a large
section of the river. We did not find the body
– but we know far better where it is not
located. We also learned that sonar was a critical
tool in this kind of search due to the severely
restricted visibility of the water. We recommend
that VideoRay owners use the new “performance
tether” when operating in this kind of high
current environment, since it has much less drag,
and with multiple holes and shallow water we did
not need to use very long sections of tether.
Finally, the positioning system was key to making
sure that the areas searched were the areas we
expected” stated McCauley.
For comments, contact: David Phillips, Undersheriff
St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, Duluth , MN
, PH: 218-726-2339, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For pictures and videos online, visit http://www.videoray.com/Press_Room/press_release.htm
Contact VideoRay Public Relations : Chris Gibson,
ph: 610-458-3000 email@example.com
Contact VideoRay LLC · 400 Eagleview Blvd.
· Exton , PA 19341 USA · Phone:
(610) 458-3000 · FAX: (610) 458-3010 ·
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