Sergeant Ralph Edwards and his team successfully completed comprehensive training on their three new LBV ROVs at the SeaBotix waterfront headquarters. The Dive Team will be integrating their LBV200L, LBV150SE-6 with Crawler Skid Assembly, and the LBV300S-6 into daily operations at the Port of LA. Together, the three systems represent a broad range of SeaBotix ROV capabilities, including Sonar, LED lighting, Grabber, and Crawler integration.
The team had purchased a smaller ROV in 2004, but found its capabilities beyond shallow, pier-side inspections were limited. The three SeaBotix LBV systems will be assimilated into daily operations to assist the divers in performing critical site checks such as on ship hulls, port infrastructure, and on missions involving search and recovery. With the ROVs, the LA Port Police Dive Team will be able to accomplish daily tasks more safely and effectively.
"The ROVs will allow us to utilize our resources more effectively," stated Sgt. Edwards. The team will be able to work longer and accomplish tasks faster, eliminating diver wait-out times and exhaustion. Sending an ROV instead of a diver will also allow for longer work periods at greater depths.
The six diver team covers 33 square miles of waterfront, but will now be reaching out to other agencies under the Port Dive Operations Group (PDOG), providing the South Bay Region with an enormous security asset. The SeaBotix ROVs will be utilized by the team in assisting associated public safety dive teams such as those of LA County Sheriffs, LAPD, Long Beach PD, LAFD, and the FBI. As Sgt. Edwards explained, they may need to utilize the LBV300S-6, which has the greatest depth rating, for deep water inspections outside the breakwater, territory surveyed by the LA City Sheriffs dive team.
Upon completion of their course, LA Port Police Officer Roberto Redondo commented on behalf of SeaBotix, saying: "The course and employees made our experience a memorable one. At least in my opinion, I've never been so well taken care of and catered to until I came here." SeaBotix feels strongly that factory training is the most important option available as it builds confidence in the operator in terms of maintenance and piloting, as well as creates a professional bond between the operators, SeaBotix, and their LBV. SeaBotix is optimistic that their systems are in very capable hands, and that the LA Port Police dive team will be able to accomplish more with less risk to the divers, and with greater overall mission success.