- News - March 18, 2004
FAIRHAVEN -- The pictures on a monitor
attached to a small, video-camera-clad submerged
submarine were innocent enough.
On land, members of the Southeastern
Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council marine unit
looked at clear pictures of crabs, boat hulls
and other marine environs around Union Wharf yesterday.
But this was only a training session.
Dartmouth police dive Officer Paul Stanton
holds the VideoRay remote-operated underwater
rover during training in Fairhaven yesterday.
The VideoRay, as the marine rover
is known, could be used in serious and dangerous
Homeland Security and port security missions to
locate bombs, bodies and other objects.
"We were very impressed with
the capabilities of the rover," Fairhaven
Police Chief Gary F. Souza said.
"It shows a clear picture of
the bottom. It's going to be valuable to locate
things in the water."
The good thing about the SeaRay
is that it can go where no diver can and is equipped
with sonar, Chief Souza said.
The law enforcement council purchased
the $38,000 rover with a portion of a $350,000
Homeland Security equipment grant.
The rover will stay in Fairhaven
but can be used by any of the 20 communities that
make up the council, Chief Souza said.
Yesterday, SeaRay representatives
trained eight members of the marine unit from
Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Dartmouth, Wareham and
Taunton how to use the equipment.
The rover connects to a computer
system on land with a 250-foot cable.
The operator controls the rover
through a series of knobs.
Members of the marine unit will
practice in the inner harbor during the coming
"You get better as you practice
more with it," Chief Souza said.
In addition to the rover, the law
enforcement council is purchasing a dive truck,
a dive trailer, a boat and scuba equipment with
This story appeared on Page A7 of The Standard-Times
on March 18, 2005.