Videoray - News - June 8, 2005
Drowning Victim Recovered
by St. Louis County, MN, Sheriff's Office Rescue
Recovery was Rapid and Safe Using Newly Acquired
Price County, Wisconsin- The body
of Andrew Lovell was recovered on Saturday, May
28th, with the assistance of cutting edge underwater
technology. The 30 year old Wisconsin resident
had been fishing in Butternut Lake on May 23rd
when his unoccupied fishing boat was spotted by
his fiancé during the evening hours.
Several agencies responded and were faced with
searching an area several acres in size. Divers
made 30 separate dives but the large search area
and poor visibility made this work difficult.
The Price County Sheriff's Office contacted the
St. Louis County Sheriff's Office in Duluth, Minnesota
"We had recently received a new side scan
sonar and were planning on utilizing it with our
drowning recoveries", said Dave Phillips,
St. Louis County Undersheriff. "We have had
success with body recovery and scene investigation
with our VideoRay Remotely Operated Vehicle, and
were looking to integrate side-scan sonar into
our operations." The City of Duluth, Minnesota,
had recently assisted the St. Louis County Rescue
Squad in obtaining the Side Scan Sonar by utilizing
funds from a Homeland Security grant.
The underwater tools used
in the Butternut Lake drowning recovery: Marine
Sonic Technology Centurion Side Scan Sonar System
(left) and VideoRay Pro III ROV (right).
Members of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Volunteer
Rescue Squad and Sheriff's office staff worked
with the Price County Sheriff's Office, Butternut
Fire Department and Dive Team in the recovery
effort. One boat was set up with the Marine Sonic
Technology, Ltd. (http://www.marinesonic.com/
) side scan sonar, while another boat was equipped
with the VideoRay, LLC (http://www.videoray.com
) Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV); a small 8 pound
underwater robot equipped with a scanning sonar
and video capability. The two boats worked together
in the recovery effort: First, the side scan sonar
was deployed and operators identified suspicious
"hits" on the bottom and relayed this
information to the squad members on the ROV boat.
One image collected by the Sea Scan PC with a
900kHz tow-fish left little doubt that the victim
had been located. The VideoRay ROV confirmed this,
provided video forensic evidence, and led divers
to the victim so they could recover Mr. Lovell.
After 4 ½ hours, the body of Andrew Lovell
"We were glad to have helped on this operation.
This was an agonizing, difficult time for the
family and emergency responders", Phillips
stated. Numerous agencies had participated in
the efforts over the past week including the Price
County Sheriff, Ashland County Sheriff, Butternut
Fire and Rescue, Butternut Dive Team, Park Falls
Fire and Police.
For more information, contact: Dave Phillips,
Undersheriff, St. Louis County Sheriff's Office,
Duluth, MN, Phone: 218.726.2339, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Gibson email@example.com,
VideoRay LLC, Director, Marketing, Phone: 610.458.3000