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June 6, 2015

Ballast entangled

BY: Jesús Molino




At 7:00 am, the crew starts appearing on deck; by 7:30 we are ready to throw the lines and leave the harbour. We head northwest, surrounding the island near its cliffs. Half an hour later, everything is ready to put the ROV into the water. The first dive is carried out without too much trouble, some wind and some rain at the beginning, but nothing to worry about. Nonetheless, things become a bit complicated right after collecting a sample in the second dive. The ballast that holds the ROV´s umbilical cable must have gotten entangled with a rock. When this happens, the ballast and the cable must be lifted manually, (around 100kg at 400m deep). Fortunately everybody came out to help and we finally got to put everything back on deck, and even the sample taken is safe and sound. We had to repair the cable and replace the ballast on our way back. Now, at 19:30, twelve hours after leaving the harbor, we are still an hour away to moor the Ranger, tomorrow will be a new day …


© OCEANA/Carlos Minguell