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Videoray - Press Release - December 21, 2004

VideoRay Underwater Robot Locates Body and Assists Divers in Frozen Minnesota Lake

Little Yellow Sub Lights Up Cab of Submerged Vehicle, Helping Divers Get in and Get Out of Dangerously Cold Waters

St. Louis County, Minnesota, December 21, 2004 -- This past Sunday, the VideoRay underwater robot located the body of a 65-year old male who drove his Bombardier tracked trail groomer through the ice on Lake Vermillion in St. Louis county, Minnesota. Operated by St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office personnel, the VideoRay was launched prior to sending divers into frigid waters where air temperatures dropped below minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit and wind chills exceeded 50 below zero.

The body of Andrew “Nonny” Horshak was located on Saturday, 26 feet underwater by the VideoRay, which was “the first thing in the water,” says St. Louis County Undersheriff David Phillips. The body was pinpointed in the cab of the machine by ROV. According to Phillips, “Saturday evening we tried to send in divers but they hit a wall with immediate regulator freeze ups” in the extremely cold temperatures.

To recover the body on Sunday, divers followed the yellow tether attached to the submersible. The ROV was then utilized to monitor diver status and provide lighting for the diver who made the eventual recovery.

“The technique of sending in the VideoRay to light up the vehicle worked particularly well with the diver and provided us with videotaped documentation of the scene. By looking at the live video the sub sent to the surface, we could confirm that the diver was safe,” says Phillips. The VideoRay was used to record the entire scene above water as well. According to Phillips, “The sub’s small size and hand-held portability provides the added benefit of acting as a totally weatherproof video camera on the surface.” The operation was successfully accomplished by the efforts of the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office Rescue Squad, Greenwood Fire Department, Virginia Fire Department, and the Carlton County/Cloquet Dive Team.

“We came to the conclusion that if we can operate under these awful conditions during the past 24 hours, we can operate anywhere in the world,” says Phillips.

VideoRay ROVs are the smallest, most portable, and most responsive remotely operated vehicles available for use in underwater environments. Weighing just 8 pounds and starting at $5995 USD, VideoRays are used for underwater surveys, offshore inspections, search and rescue, homeland defense, science, fish farming, and a range of applications.

For comments, contact: David Phillips, Undersheriff St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, Duluth, MN, PH: 218-726-2339, e-mail: phillipsd@co.st-louis.mn.us.

Contact VideoRay LLC: Kayla Patenaude, VideoRay Public Relations. Tel: (603) 428-4231; E-mail: kaylap@forwater.com

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