While performing offshore work recently in the Bass Straight off the coast of Australia, an O-Tech 7 work class ROV spotted an object on the seafloor in 110 meters of water. After closer examination, the object was discovered to be a SeaBotix LBV200-4 MiniROV. There was no tether attached. The work class ROV pilot recovered the sunken LBV and returned it to the surface.
A quick phone call to the SeaBotix distributor in Perth, Australia confirmed that this LBV had been lost approximately 18 months prior when the tether was accidentally severed by an Origin Energy vessel prop. The surprised ROV pilot commented, “I’ll be damned!!! The little fella looks in surprisingly good shape considering it’s been down a year now ."
With 18 months of marine growth, the LBV was returned to SeaBotix distributor David Whillas. Out of curiosity, David simply plugged it into a tether and topside control unit, then powered the LBV on. The system fired up on the first try and 2 of the 4 thrusters worked. The thruster bladders were either damaged or broken and the sensor board had a fault as the water had just started to leak in through the corroded seal plugs. However, except for some wear to the anodizing and bumper frames, everything else was operational. A testament to how durable and rugged SeaBotix MiniROVs are built.