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Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

ROV technology



Digital camera technology has improved hugely in the last five years. Sensors now have huge dynamic ranges which means they can cope with extremes of light and dark, hue and tonal range within a single image. Satellite technology now allows for the transmission of huge digital data files at reasonable cost. The end result means that researchers who invest in such technology can pass on their work to a much wider audience - in this instance the research crew manning the ROVs Hercules and Argos aboard JG Ballard's RV Nautilus can not only allow us to see their day-to-day research work but also allow vieweres to engage with them and ask them questions live via the dialogue box below the video feed.

Just imagine if such technology was available for investigating the sinking of fishing vessels that have founded?

The beam trawler Margaretha Maria was lost during a trip from Newlyn in November 1997.  The following year the salvage vessel Tesrchelling was hired by the legal team representing the families of the skipper and crew. Although the ROV from the Tesrchelling was able to video the entire wreck the images sent back to the boat were nothing like the quality available now nor did the ROV have the degree of movement and ability that the equipment on the Nautilus has today. Even so for the day the images sent back to the surface enabled a comprehensive assessment of the vessel on the sea bed at the time.

















ROVs can operate where no diver would be safe to do so and as a result can be deployed in conditions that would potentially preclude and kind of incident survey.

Two publications cover the incident in detail:

This from the Wolfson Unit who were commissioned to investigate stability inherent in different beam trawler arrangements.



The official MAIB investigation into the accident which saw the lives of four fishermen lost.