Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. today announced that following a scheduled winter maintenance period, its recovery vessel Odyssey Explorer has completed routine repairs and extensive upgrades and is mobilizing for upcoming project operations.
The upgrades to Odyssey's 251' deep-ocean archaeological platform include the addition of the following equipment, specifically designed to enhance the Explorer's documentational and recovery capabilities in preparation for commencement of spring 2008 operations:
• Installation of ZEUS II, a next-generation heavy work Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), reconfigured for deep ocean archaeological survey and recovery operations including inspections, photographic and video documentation and artifact recovery. While ZEUS II looks very similar to the original ZEUS ROV, it has twice the power of the original ZEUS, as well as advanced control system and telemetry making it one of the world's most capable deep-ocean archaeological work platforms.
• Installation of a light work ROV, designed to perform archaeological inspections, photographic and video documentation. This system has been installed for sea trials following an extensive upgrade to increase its capability to 3,000 meters.
• Installation of an upgraded, state-of-the-art dual frequency sidescan sonar system and upgrade of computer systems and data recording capabilities.
ZEUS I has temporarily been removed from the Odyssey Explorer and placed in a secure facility where it is undergoing a complete refurbishment and upgrade.
Other work in dry dock included main engine and generator strip downs, extensive steelwork repairs to the aft ballast tanks to meet Class requirements, and brought forward four additional Class surveys, normally scheduled for July 2008 but executed early in order not to interfere with search and recovery operations in the prime work season.
"These upgrades to the Explorer, although time-consuming, have increased our vessel's search and recovery capabilities and will increase the dependability of the vessel. This investment represents another important step in Odyssey's strategic plan of maintaining and strengthening our position as the world leader in archaeologically sensitive deep-ocean shipwreck exploration. We are now looking forward to mobilizing the Explorer and putting her back to work on some of our most promising targets soon," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey's Chief Executive Officer.
The Explorer's sister ship, Ocean Alert, is currently still in Falmouth, UK where she continues to undergo extensive engine repairs and upgrades, scheduled to be completed in April 2008. The vessel is being configured with upgraded deep and shallow side scan search systems for upcoming project search operations.