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Sunday, September 27, 2020

National Deep Submergence Facility News

Voyage data recorder next to El Faro mast on ocean floor (Photo: NTSB)

El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder Located

The voyage data recorder (VDR) belonging to sunken cargo ship El Faro was found early Tuesday morning in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced. A specialist team comprised of investigators and scientists from the NTSB, the U.S. Coast Guard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Tote Services, the owner and operator of El Faro, located the VDR using remotely operated undersea search equipment. Video footage showing El Faro's VDR is available here. At about 1 a.m.

The autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry (yellow, at left) is prepared for deployment off the stern of the RV Falkor, after a trace-metal CTD instrument package and water sampler is recovered (lower right). Photo credit SOI

New Deep-Sea Vents, Volcanic Activity Found in Mariana Back-Arc

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor returns from the first ever expedition to systematically characterize the rarely explored Mariana Back-Arc. HAGANTA, GUAM – A diverse team of scientists are returning from a 28-day expedition onboard R/V Falkor that has more than doubled the number of known hydrothermal vent sites in the Mariana Back-arc region. This area, west of the Mariana Trench, is where plate spreading and submarine volcanism are concentrated. Several momentous findings were made, including the discovery of one of the deepest vents ever found.

Oceanology International 2014: More Details Announced

Companies operating in the marine science and ocean technology have only one more month to submit an abstract for next year’s Oceanology International 2014 conference. Taking place at London ExCeL between Tuesday and Thursday, March 11 and 13, 2014, the next Oceanology International is due to be the busiest of its series, with already 86.6% of exhibition spacebooked and eightone-day conference programs taking place alongside three new panel discussions. Professor Ralph Rayner is again the overall conference chairman…

Photo courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Deep-Sea Robot Lost at Sea

A deep-sea exploration robot — one of the first successful submersible vehicles that was both unmanned and untethered to surface ships — was lost at sea Friday, March 5, on a research expedition off the coast of Chile. The 15-year-old Autonomous Benthic Explorer, affectionately nicknamed ABE, was launched late on the night of Thursday, March 4, and had reached the seafloor to begin its 222nd research dive when, in the early hours of Friday morning, all contact with the surface vessel abruptly ceased. All efforts to reestablish contact failed.