- News - June 2, 2004
Fifteen Police, Fire, Coast Guard Auxiliary,
Sea Scouts, Rescue, and EMS teams had the opportunity to pilot
the new VideoRay Pro at the Bear Search and Rescue Foundation's
Marine Training event in New York City.
Exton, PA, June 2, 2004 – On May 22, 23, 2004,
VideoRay LLC supported the Bear Search and Rescue Foundation's Marine
Training event in New York City, showing local agencies how the
VideoRay underwater robot can be used to in search and rescue missions.
Fifteen Police, Fire, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Sea Scouts, Rescue,
and EMS teams had the opportunity to pilot the new VideoRay
Pro III and learn from officers from St. Louis County,
Minnesota, who used the underwater robot to locate the body of a
drowned snowmobile driver this past winter.
On day one of the event, attendees test-drove the VideoRay, equipped
with a SeaSprite
scanning sonar system that allowed operators to locate
targets and then navigate closer to observe through the robot’s
video eye. Also shown was VideoRay's new PC control software, which
allows the VideoRay to be piloted using standard gaming controllers
like those found on popular video game systems.
“Attendees were impressed with the size, speed, maneuverability
and video quality of the VideoRay,” says Scott Bentley, president
of VideoRay. “But more importantly, they understood how the
tiny robot could help bring closure to families who have lost loved
ones underwater. Our contribution to humanity is providing a tool
that not only helps locate those who are lost but that also prevents
additional tragedies when divers are put at risk to recover a victim.”
On day two of the event, Undersheriff Dave Phillips and Rescue
Squad member Lt. Tom Crossmon, of St. Louis County, Minnesota, delivered
a presentation of their experience using
VideoRay to locate the body of a drowned snowmobile driver
in Ashland, Wisconsin. Before the victim was located with a VideoRay,
divers had previously made 19 difficult dives in shifting ice. A
diver spent less than one minute in the 37-degree water recovering
the body, just five hours after the search with the VideoRay began.
Phillips of St. Louis County, Minnesota, delivered a presentation
of his experience using VideoRay to recover drowning victims.
Undersheriff Phillips reported that before authorities
removed the body, and without disturbing the scene, a conclusive
forensic investigation of the site was completed. By showing real
pictures captured during searches, Undersheriff Phillips shared
his practical experience and success with the VideoRay. He also
provided guidance for acquiring this type of equipment through grants
and offered tips on how to manage an ROV operations team, from staff
selection and training to mobilizing for missions.
“We really enjoyed meeting attendees from the New York area,”
says Undersheriff Phillips. “All public safety agencies have
shared the same problems of how to conduct underwater recoveries
safely, and it was great to show our VideoRay as a possible option
for them. It was an honor to meet with agencies and people involved
in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. “
“The purpose of this interagency training was to make people
familiar with new methods for search and rescue. Within one week
of the event, we have learned of two instances where the VideoRay
is being used to bring closure to families of victims in New York
and Wisconsin,” says Captain Scott Shields, who hosted the
event and whose world-famous dog Bear located the most victims at
Ground Zero after the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers. “Our
goal is to get people trained in the use of the VideoRay so we can
respond faster and better when a situation arises. We appreciate
VideoRay’s generosity in coming to New York to bring a higher
degree of awareness to the Tri-State area.”
Captain Scott Shields is looking for donations to the Bear Search
and Rescue Foundation for the purchase of a VideoRay to support
the search and rescue efforts of local agencies. Donations can be
made through the foundation’s website at www.bearsearchandrescue.org
The VideoRay ROV is an 8-pound underwater submersible equipped
with a video camera. Operated by one person from land or boat, the
submersible is attached to a tether and control box to navigate
and document underwater conditions. VideoRays are in use worldwide
for search and rescue and Homeland
For comments, contact: David Phillips, Undersheriff
St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, Duluth, MN, PH: 218-726-2339,
Contact Captain Scott Shields of Bear Search and Rescue Foundation
at ph: 732-713-6298.
Contact VideoRay LLC • 400 Eagleview Blvd.
• Exton, PA 19341 USA • Phone: (610) 458-3000 •
FAX: (610) 458-3010 • www.videoray.com
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