During a recent cyclone off the coast of Queensland, Australia, 31 containers carrying toxic substances were lost from a Merchant Vessel. Thanks to Saab's Double Eagle ROV the majority have been found.
A 185 metre container ship, Pacific Adventurer, was en route from Newcastle to Indonesia via Brisbane when it lost 31 containers during Cyclone Hamish about seven nautical miles to the east of Cape Moreton. The dislodged containers caused damage to the ship and resulted in the loss of heavy fuel oil. The containers were also carrying other toxic substances that could affect the fragile ecosystem and wildlife in Queensland, Australia.
Difficult weather conditions
Two of the Royal Australian Navy's Huon Class Mine Hunters participated in the Maritime Safety operation, helping the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to confirm the location of the lost containers. The two Mine Hunters were tasked with locating and marking the positions of the containers and capturing video footage to determine their condition. Despite the difficult weather conditions, a small window of opportunity allowed the Mine Hunter HMAS Yarra to deploy a Mine Disposal Vehicle - Saab's Double Eagle - into the water last Wednesday, March 25.
22 containers identified
The Double Eagle successfully identified 22 containers at a depth of more than 125 meters. The containers are lying close together on the seabed, secured in groups of two and three, and are in varying conditions. The ships have marked the confirmed positions using a highly accurate navigation system and will provide the information to Maritime Safety Queensland, the agency coordinating salvage effort. Two more containers were found on March 26 and the search is now continuing for the seven containers still missing.
The Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) used for this operation is called the Double Eagle, which was developed by Saab Underwater Systems. It is equipped with a searchlight, closed-circuit low light television camera and on-board close range identification sonar. Normally, it is used as a Mine Disposal Vehicle but in this operation, it took on an identification role, which underscores the great dual use capability of the Double Eagle System.
About the Double Eagle ROV
• The Double Eagle is a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) used for Mine Hunting missions.
• It can detect, classify, identify and dispose of sea mines.
• Navies around the world use the Double Eagle for Mine Hunting operations and there are currently sixty systems in operational service.
• The Double Eagle System uses a modular approach to provide flexible systems for Mine Hunting.
• The System provides a hydro-dynamically stable, highly reliable system with exceptional performance and low life cycle cost.