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January 21, 2014

Cold as ice: Wikinews interviews Marymegan Daly on unusual new sea anemone

Cold as ice: Wikinews interviews Marymegan Daly on unusual new sea anemone

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In late 2010 a geological expedition to Antarctica drilled through the Ross Ice Shelf so they could send an ROV under it. What they found was unexpected: Sea anemones. In their thousands they were doing what no other species of sea anemone is known to do — they were living in the ice itself.

Edwardsiella andrillae and its habitat
Image: Daly et al.

Discovered by the ANDRILL [Antarctic Drilling] project, the team was so unprepared for biological discoveries they did not have suitable preservatives and the only chemicals available obliterated the creature’s DNA. Nonetheless Marymegan Daly of Ohio State University confirmed the animals were a new species. Named Edwardsiella andrillae after the drilling project that found it, the anemone was finally described in a PLOS ONE paper last month.

ANDRILL lowered their cylindrical camera ROV down a freshly-bored 270m (890ft) hole, enabling it to reach seawater below the ice. The device was merely being tested ahead of its planned mission retrieving data on ocean currents and the sub-ice environment. Instead it found what ANDRILL director Frank Rack of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, a co-author of the paper describing the find, called the “total serendipity” of “a whole new ecosystem that no one had ever seen before”.

The discovery raises many questions. Burrowing sea anemones worm their way into substrates or use their tentacles to dig, but it’s unclear how E. andrillae enters the hard ice. With only their tentacles protruding into the water from the underneath of the ice shelf questions also revolve around how the animals avoid freezing, how they reproduce, and how they cope with the continuously melting nature of their home. Their diet is also a mystery.

Cquote1.svg What fascinates me about sea anemones is that they’re able to do things that seem impossible Cquote2.svg

—Marymegan Daly

E. andrillae is an opaque white, with an inner ring of eight tentacles and twelve-to-sixteen tentacles in an outer ring. The ROV’s lights produced an orange glow from the creatures, although this may be produced by their food. It measures 16–20mm (0.6–0.8in) but when fully relaxed can extend to triple that.

Genetic analysis being impossible, Daly turned to dissection of the specimens but could find nothing out of the ordinary. Scientists hope to send a biological mission to explore the area under the massive ice sheet, which is in excess of 600 miles (970km) wide. The cameras also observed worms, fish that swim inverted as if the icy roof was the sea floor, crustaceans and a cylindrical creature that used appendages on its ends to move and to grab hold of the anemones.

NASA is providing funding to aid further research, owing to possible similarities between this icy realm and Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Biological research is planned for 2015. An application for funding to the U.S. National Science Foundation, which funds ANDRILL, is also pending.

The ANDRILL team almost failed to get any samples at all. Designed to examine the seafloor, the ROV had to be inverted to examine the roof of ice. Weather conditions prevented biological sampling equipment being delivered from McMurdo Station, but the scientists retrieved 20–30 anemones by using hot water to stun them before sucking them from their burrows with an improvised device fashioned from a coffee filter and a spare ROV thruster. Preserved on-site in ethanol, they were taken to McMurdo station where some were further preserved with formaldehyde.

This map shows the location of the Ross Ice Shelf in the Antarctic, and the two known localities for E. andrillae relative to McMurdo Station
Image: Daly et al.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png How did you come to be involved with this discovery?

Marymegan Daly: Frank Rack got in touch after they returned from Antarctica in hopes that I could help with an identification on the anemone.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What was your first reaction upon learning there was an undiscovered ecosystem under the ice in the Ross Sea?

MD I was amazed and really excited. I think to say it was unexpected is inaccurate, because it implies that there was a well-founded expectation of something. The technology that Frank and his colleagues are using to explore the ice is so important because, given our lack of data, we have no reasonable expectation of what it should be like, or what it shouldn’t be like.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png There’s a return trip planned hopefully for 2015, with both biologists and ANDRILL geologists. Are you intending to go there yourself?

MD I would love to. But I am also happy to not go, as long as someone collects more animals on my behalf! What I want to do with the animals requires new material preserved in diverse ways, but it doesn’t require me to be there. Although I am sure that being there would enhance my understanding of the animals and the system in which they live, and would help me formulate more and better questions about the anemones, ship time is expensive, especially in Antarctica, and if there are biologists whose contribution is predicated on being there, they should have priority to be there.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png These animals are shrouded in mystery. Some of the most intriguing questions are chemical; do they produce some kind of antifreeze, and is that orange glow in the ROV lights their own? Talk us through the difficulties encountered when trying to find answers with the specimens on hand.

MD The samples we have are small in terms of numbers and they are all preserved in formalin (a kind of formaldehyde solution). The formalin is great for preserving structures, but for anemones, it prevents study of DNA or of the chemistry of the body. This means we can’t look at the issue you raise with these animals. What we could do, however, was to study anatomy and figure out what it is, so that when we have samples preserved for studying e.g., the genome, transcriptome, or metabolome, or conduct tests of the fluid in the burrows or in the animals themselves, we can make precise comparisons, and figure out what these animals have or do (metabolically or chemically) that lets them live where they live.

Daly explained how she obtained these images of the anemone’s anatomy.
Image: Daly et al.

Just knowing a whole lot about a single species isn’t very useful, even if that animal is as special as these clearly are — we need to know what about them is different and thus related to living in this strange way. The only way to get at what’s different is to make comparisons with close relatives. We can start that side of the work now, anticipating having more beasts in the future.
In terms of their glow, I suspect that it’s not theirs — although luminescence is common in anemone relatives, they don’t usually make light themselves. They do make a host of florescent proteins, and these may interact with the light of the ROV to give that gorgeous glow.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What analysis did you perform on the specimens and what equipment was used?

MD I used a dissecting scope to look at the animal’s external anatomy and overall body organization (magnification of 60X). I embedded a few of the animals in wax and then cut them into very thin slices using a microtome, mounted the slices on microscope slides, stained the slices to enhance contrast, and then looked at those slides under a compound microscope (that’s how I got the pictures of the muscles etc in the paper). I used that same compound scope to look at squashed bits of tissue to see the stinging capsules (=nematocysts).
I compared the things I saw under the ‘scopes to what had been published on other species in this group. This step seems trivial, but it is really the most important part! By comparing my observations to what my colleagues and predecessors had found, I figured out what group it belongs to, and was able to determine that within that group, it was a new species.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png It was three years between recovery of specimens and final publication, why did it take so long?

MD You mean, how did we manage to make it all happen so quickly, right? 🙂 It was about two years from when Frank sent me specimens to when we got the paper out. Some of that time was just lost time — I had other projects in the queue that I needed to finish. Once we figured out what it was, we played a lot of manuscript email tag, which can be challenging and time consuming given the differing schedules that folks keep in terms of travel, field work, etc. Manuscript review and processing took about four months.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What sort of difficulties were posed by the unorthodox preservatives used, and what additional work might be possible on a specimen with intact DNA?

MD The preservation was not unorthodox — they followed best practices for anatomical preservation. Having DNA-suitable material will let us see whether there are new genes, or genes turned on in different ways and at different times that help explain how these animals burrow into hard ice and then survive in the cold. I am curious about the population structure of the “fields” of anemones — the group to which Edwardsiella andrillae belongs includes many species that reproduce asexually, and it’s possible that the fields are “clones” produced asexually rather than the result of sexual reproduction. DNA is the only way to test this.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Do you have any theories about the strategies employed to cope with the harsh environment of burrowing inside an ice shelf?

MD I think there must be some kind of antifreeze produced — the cells in contact with ice would otherwise freeze.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png How has such an apparently large population of clearly unusual sea anemones, not to mention the other creatures caught on camera, gone undetected for so long?

MD I think this reflects how difficult it is to get under the ice and to collect specimens. That being said, since the paper came out, I have been pointed towards two other reports that are probably records of these species: one from Japanese scientists who looked at footage from cameras attached to seals and one from Americans who dove under ice. In both of these cases, the anemone (if that’s what they saw) was seen at a distance, and no specimens were collected. Without the animals in hand, or the capability of a ROV to get close up for pictures, it is hard to know what has been seen, and lacking a definitive ID, hard to have the finding appropriately indexed or contextualized.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Would it be fair to say this suggests there may be other undiscovered species of sea anemone that burrow into hard substrates such as ice?

MD I hope so! What fascinates me about sea anemones is that they’re able to do things that seem impossible given their seemingly limited toolkit. This finding certainly expands the realm of possible.



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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Edwardsiella andrillae

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July 19, 2010

Oil spewing from crack in seafloor of Gulf of Mexico was fifty feet from Deepwater Horizon well

Oil spewing from crack in seafloor of Gulf of Mexico was fifty feet from Deepwater Horizon well

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Monday, July 19, 2010

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Oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico seen from space on June 22.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.

After an investigation, Wikinews has learned that oil spewing from a rupture in the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico on June 13 was 50 to 60 feet from the Deepwater Horizon leak.

A nearly four and a half minute video posted on YouTube on June 13 was from the Viking Poseidon ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) 1. It shows oil and methane leaking from the seafloor at around 2:48 a.m. on June 13. The ROV monitors the leak for a minute and even gets covered in a plume of oil and sand before it moved on to the next spot. Smaller eruptions were seen as the ROV traveled, making the leak locations vary from 50 to 60 feet from the damaged well.

Until now, there was no way to determine the location of the ROVs in relation to the previously leaking Deepwater Horizon well. Alexander Higgins, an independent computer programmer, developed the ‘Gulf Oil Spill ROV UTM Distance Calculator.’ Using the coordinates for the location of the Deepwater Horizon, and the location of the Viking Poseidon on June 13, Wikinews was able to determine that the first rupture and leak was approximately 50.45 feet from the leaking well or “21.56 feet [n]orth and 45.61 feet [w]est” of the Deepwater leak point.

Higgins told Wikinews how he created the calculator, and says it is “very accurate,” but that the tool would “not give you accurate measurements over a large distance, e.g. from the well head to New Orleans.”

“This tool was created using java script that uses basic Pythagorean theorem (A^2 + B^2 = C^2) to calculate the distance between two points. The distance is simply \sqrt{(N_1 - N_2)^2 + (E_1 - E_2)^2 }. ROV coordinates match the location within a few feet when looking at the well because obviously the ROV can not be over the exact center because that is where the BOP is,” said Higgins.

BP, who owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon, has denied that any oil or methane gas is leaking from the sea floor. On July 16, Kent Wells, the senior vice president of BP, said on their official Twitter page that “4 ROVs using sonar scanning [are] looking for anomalies in seabed floor. No indications any oil or gas escaping.” Seismic tests were conducted on July 16; Admiral Thad Allen of the United States Coast Guard said that “no anomalies” were found, but also that the tests were “not comprehensive.”

On Sunday, Wikinews contacted BP, who authenticated the video, and asked if any ROVs were sent back to the crack and leak location on June 13 for further investigation. According to their office in London, England, they “sent ROVs to investigate and monitor that and no further signs of oil or gas were found.” They also stated that they “have continued to monitor” and “have also carried out seismic surveys. Nothing found to give concern.” Wikinews also asked if they could confirm the location of the leak and crack, but no response was given.

However, on July 18, the Associated Press reported that there was “seepage” coming from the area at the bottom of the Deepwater well head. For the past two days, ROV cameras showed bubbles coming from the base of well. BP said it would test the bubbles to determine what they are and as of Sunday, COO of BP Doug Suttles says the bubbles are not methane, but further tests are being conducted. “If you can imagine, it is not an easy operation to collect those bubbles so that they can be tested to see what their make-up is.”

Since the June 13 video surfaced, other videos have been posted to YouTube allegedly showing some of the ROVs being tossed around by large amounts of oil seeping through the seafloor. One video showed an alleged eruption spraying oil and debris around the BOA DEEP C 2 ROV before it was tossed from side to side. It then immediately retreated to the surface. Some of the cracks on ocean floors, where oil has leaked from, have occurred naturally. One such oil spill in California in 2005 was the result of a naturally occurring crack in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Some of those cracks can cause oil to leak through at a rate as high as 5,000 gallons a day, with most of the oil not even reaching the water’s surface. In the Gulf of Mexico, oil leaks through natural cracks at a rate several times less than leaked from the Deepwater well.

“The Deepwater Horizon site releases 3 to 12 times the oil per day compared to that released by natural seeps across the entire Gulf of Mexico. By May 30, the Deepwater Horizon site had released between 468,000 and 741,000 barrels of oil, compared to 60,000 to 150,000 barrels from natural seeps across the entire Gulf of Mexico over the same 39 day period,” said Cutler Cleveland, a Boston University professor at the university’s Department of Geography and Environment.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill started on April 20 after an explosion on the rig. Efforts to put out the fire failed and the rig subsequently sank to the bottom of the Gulf. On April 22, an oil slick appeared on the surface of the Gulf. BP capped the leaking well on July 13 which effectively stopped oil from leaking into the Gulf. The company has been running a pressure integrity test on the 150,000 pound cap for 48 hours. Earlier on July 17, they announced the test would continue for another day. BP hopes for the well’s pressure to rise to or above 7,500 PSI. As of Saturday morning the well’s pressure was just above 6,700 PSI. BP fears anything lower than the expected PSI could mean a leak in the cap or elsewhere, such as oil or methane seeping up from the seafloor.

“We are feeling more comfortable we have integrity. We will keep monitoring and make the decisions as we go forward. The longer the test goes the more confidence we have in it,” said Allen.



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ROV detects leaks in Deepwater Horizon well cap

ROV detects leaks in Deepwater Horizon well cap

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Monday, July 19, 2010

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Oil  spreading north-east from the leaking Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico

As many as four leaks have been detected in the Deepwater Horizon well cap in the Gulf of Mexico, according to live footage shot by one of BP’s ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles). The leaks were detected early this morning, just after 4:00 (EDT).

The HOS SUPER H ROV 1 made the discovery while performing an “integrity survey” of the well and well cap. It recorded what appears to be a thin metal pipe lining the outside of the oil cap. Four small leaks of what appear to oil bubbles were detected during this survey. The first appears just after the elbow connecting the pipe to the two green pipes. The second can be seen through the hole of the large metal ring. The third is seen just to the right of the metal ring.

Hydrocarbon builds up as oil and gas leaks from a pipe.
Image: BP.

It is not yet known what the pipe carries or what it connects to. It is also not yet clear if all leaks are from the pipe, or leaking from the well. BP confirmed the leaks and told Wikinews in a phone call to their Houston, Texas press office, there is a “small leak” releasing hydrates consisting of gases and oil. They are “studying the issue” and are prepared to fix the pipe if it becomes an issue. Live camera feeds show hydrocarbons building up as the oil and gas leak from the pipe.

On July 18, ROV cameras showed bubbles coming from the base of well. BP said it would test the bubbles to determine what they are and as of Sunday, COO of BP Doug Suttles says the bubbles are not methane, but further tests are being conducted. “If you can imagine, it is not an easy operation to collect those bubbles so that they can be tested to see what their make-up is.”

Yesterday an unnamed United States official told the Associated Press that there was “seepage” coming from the area at the bottom of the Deepwater well head. The official said the seepage and methane gas were discovered near the Deepwater well head, but did not specify an exact location. Admiral Thad Allen, a former US Coast Guard admiral who is overseeing the spill efforts for the US government said yesterday in a letter to BP that ROVs “detected seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head.” So far there is no word what those substances are, but BP says the bubbles detected on July 18 are not of a hydrocarbon nature.

“When seeps are detected, you are directed to marshal resources, quickly investigate, and report findings to the government in no more than four hours,” said Allen in his letter to BP. During a press conference today, Allen confirmed seepage about 3km from the well point. He could not specify whether the seep was related to the capping of the well or if it is naturally occurring.

On June 13 the Viking Poseidon ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) 1 recorded oil and methane seeping from the seafloor at around 2:48 a.m.. The ROV monitors the seep for a minute and even gets covered in a plume of oil and sand before it moved on to the next spot. Smaller eruptions were seen as the ROV traveled. After an investigation, Wikinews determined that the seepage was located just over 50 feet from the Deepwater leak point. BP has denied that any oil or methane gas is leaking from the sea floor. On July 16, Kent Wells, the senior vice president of the company, said on their official Twitter page that “4 ROVs using sonar scanning [are] looking for anomalies in seabed floor. No indications any oil or gas escaping.”

BP issued a press release earlier this morning, but did not state information regarding any leaks or seepage from the well. BP did say that the well cap “measured at approximately 6,792 pounds per square inch and continues to rise slowly.”

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill started on April 20 after an explosion on the rig. Efforts to put out the fire failed and the rig subsequently sank to the bottom of the Gulf. On April 22, an oil slick appeared on the surface of the Gulf. BP capped the leaking well on July 13 which effectively stopped oil from leaking into the Gulf. The company has been running a pressure integrity test on the 150,000 pound cap since it stopped the flow of oil. BP hopes for the well’s pressure to rise to or above 7,500 PSI. As of Saturday morning the well’s pressure was just above 6,700 PSI. BP fears anything lower than the expected PSI could mean a leak in the cap or elsewhere, such as oil or methane seeping up from the seafloor.



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June 4, 2009

WHOI sub Nereus explores deepest area of Pacific Ocean

WHOI sub Nereus explores deepest area of Pacific Ocean

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) remotely operated vehicle touched down 10,902 meters (35,767 feet) in the Mariana Trench near the island of Guam.

Location of the Mariana Trench
Image: Kmusser.

On Sunday, May 31, Nereus dove into the Pacific Ocean and began its descent into Challenger Deep the deepest area of the Mariana Trench.

“It’s the deepest known part of the ocean. The trench is virtually unexplored, and I am absolutely certain Nereus will enable new discoveries,” said Andy Bowen, project manager of WHOI, “Reaching such extreme depths is the pinnacle of technical challenges. The team is pleased that Nereus has been successful in reaching the very bottom of the ocean to return imagery and samples from such a hostile world. With a robot like Nereus we can now explore anywhere in the ocean. The trenches are virtually unexplored, and Nereus will enable new discoveries there. Nereus marks the start of a new era in ocean exploration.”

However, this is not the first time that a mission was sent into the trench. In 1998, the Japanese robot Kaiko was launched. In 1960 a two man bathyscaphe vehicle, the Trieste descended 10,916 meters (35,813 feet) to the ocean floor.

Nereus can be operated remotely or it can run as an autonomous underwater vehicle AUV. It is currently attached to the mother ship via an optic tether the diameter of a human hair.

“Much of the ocean’s depths remain unexplored. Ocean scientists now have a unique tool to gather images, data and samples from everywhere in the oceans, rather than those parts shallower than 6,500 meters (4 miles). With its innovative technology, Nereus allows us to study and understand previously inaccessible ocean regions,” said Julie Morris, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Division of Ocean Sciences. NSF assisted with the US$8 million project funding.

Nereus will send videos and collect samples on the ocean floor at the trench’s subduction zone and area during its mission.

“The samples collected by the vehicle include sediment from the tectonic plates that meet at the trench and, for the first time, rocks from deep exposures of the Earth’s crust close to mantle depths south of the Challenger Deep. We will know the full story once shore-based analyses are completed back in the laboratory this summer. We can integrate them with the new mapping data to tell a story of plate collision in greater detail than ever before accomplished in the world’s oceans,” said geologist Patty Fryer of the University of Hawaii.



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March 17, 2009

All bodies recovered from Canadian helicopter crash

All bodies recovered from Canadian helicopter crash

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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Funerals began Monday across Newfoundland for the deceased of the downed Sikorsky S92 helicopter that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on Friday killing 17 of the 18 people on board. All bodies have now been recovered, and the voice and flight data recorders have been retrieved to aid the investigation.

“We have a big attachment to the sea, even if a family is not directly involved you know how dangerous it is out there. Some funerals are strictly a family matter. In this situation there’s a large extended family because we’re all affected,” said Jim Maher, the uncle of Allison Maher, 26, the first deceased recovered after the crash.

The Archbishop of St. John’s, Martin Currie, said, “Tragedy is no stranger to the people of Newfoundland. They’re very resilient people and in a time of tragedy, they come together to support each other. Most of the communities in Newfoundland are small communities. Everybody knows everybody.”

The Transportation Safety Board has retrieved nine more bodies from the wreckage. The Atlantic Osprey is the offshore supply vessel which has been with the search and rescue effort since day one. The newly recovered bodies were taken back to St. John’s aboard the ship.

Since the recovery operations began Monday “it took 24 hours to get nine bodies out Each presents its own challenges depending on how it is entangled inside the aircraft” said RCMP Sergeant Wayne Newell.

Operations continued Tuesday to recover the final seven bodies tangled inside the mangled wreck 120 to 150 meters (394 to 492 feet) below the ocean surface. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are being used in the icy waters to place the bodies in a basket so they can be raised to the surface. After the Atlantic Osprey arrived in port, the bodies were taken to the Newfoundland’s chief medical officer by hearse for identification.

Of the 19 people aboard, Robert Decker is the sole survivor. Decker’s family has informed the RCMP that he is not yet able to communicate. Decker, who was put on life support when first admitted to hospital with injured lungs and broken bones, has said a few words; RCMP investigators hope that he will be able explain what happened in the accident and assist with the investigation, possibly toward the end of the week.

Twelve names of the missing victims had previously been announced, and with family permission, the RCMP have now released the names of Corey Eddy, from Paradise, N.L., age 32, and John Pelley, from Deer Lake, N.L. age 41.



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  • “Search for survivors of Canadian helicopter crash ends, recovery mission focuses on victims” — Wikinews, March 16, 2009
  • “Recovery planned for crashed Canadian helicopter” — Wikinews, March 15, 2009
  • “Canadian helicopter with 18 onboard crashes into Atlantic Ocean” — Wikinews, March 13, 2009

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March 16, 2009

Search for survivors of Canadian helicopter crash ends, recovery mission focuses on victims

Search for survivors of Canadian helicopter crash ends, recovery mission focuses on victims

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Monday, March 16, 2009

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Map of Newfoundland, Canada
Image: Coach, nyta, edited by Qyd.

The search for the 16 missing people has been called off about 34 hours after the Sikorsky S92 helicopter crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday. The helicopter is lying on its side at a depth of 178 metres approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) off the Newfoundland shoreline, about 55 miles (89 km) southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Of the original 18 people on board, Robert Decker is in critical condition in hospital and the body of Allison Maher had been recovered. Decker is the only survivor of the crash.

The remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used to search the wreckage, have videotaped ten to thirteen of the missing within the helicopter. At first recovery crews were hoping to haul the main body of the helicopter and its fuselage up intact, but because of the helicopter’s condition, the Transportation Safety Board will first retrieve the bodies from within the tangled metal.

Weather permitting, the recovery of the helicopter should be completed by the end of today.



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March 15, 2009

Recovery planned for crashed Canadian helicopter

Recovery planned for crashed Canadian helicopter

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

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Sikorsky S-92: detail of rotor
Image: David Monniaux .

The fuselage of the Sikorsky S92 helicopter that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday has been found at a depth 120 to 150 meters and is being retrieved. 17 of the 18 people who were on board the helicopter died after it crashed.

Personal belongings, upper and lower segments of the main entrance door, the aft cargo door, and one emergency exit door have been recovered. “We totally dissect everything we can and certainly that is going to be an area that will be examined,” said Mike Cunningham, lead investigator with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB). “It looks like the fuselage is relatively intact.” An underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is aiding in the investigation.

“The structure of the aircraft, the body of the aircraft seems to be in relatively solid state. The tail section has broken off and it is lying by the side of the aircraft which is not a problem. We are still evaluating how it’s going to be brought to the surface but we believe it should be done relatively easily, possibly in a couple of days,” said Charles Laurence, TSB’s lead investigator of operations.

The remaining victims may still be strapped within their five-point harnesses.

The mayday to Transport Canada aviation database reported oil pressure in the main gearbox which caused the problem. The gearbox links the engines and transmission and is located on the top of the fuselage and under the main rotor head.

Robert Decker remains in critical at the St. John’s Health Sciences Centre but has stabilised. It is reported that he suffered a broken bone, hypothermia and had aspirated sea water.

The recovered body is that of Allison Maher from Aquaforte, Newfoundland, aged 26. Throughout the search and rescue there were no locator signals received from survival suits of any of those missing.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have released the names of twelve of those who are are still missing. It is a partial list, as some relatives were “not prepared at this point of time to release the names of their loved ones, and we respect that,” said Supt. Reg Reeves.

They are:

  • Peter Breen, from St. John’s, N.L. age 55;
  • Gary Corbett, from Conception Bay South, N.L. age 46;
  • Wade Drake, from Fortune, N.L. age 42;
  • Wade Duggan, from Witless Bay, N.L. age 32;
  • Colin Henley, from St. John’s, N.L. age 38;
  • Ken MacRae, from Greenwood, N.S. age 47;
  • Derrick Mullowney, from Bay Bulls, N.L. age 51;
  • Burch Nash, from Fortune, N.L. age 44;
  • Paul Pike, from Bay Roberts, N.L. age 49;
  • Allison Maher,from Aquaforte, N.L., age 26
  • Tim Lanouette, from Comox, B.C., helicopter first officer age 48; and
  • Thomas Anwyll, from Langley, B.C. Crew member age 46.



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Cougar Helicopters Flight 91


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August 28, 2007

Black boxes retrieved from lost Indonesian airliner after eight months

Black boxes retrieved from lost Indonesian airliner after eight months

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Eight months after the January 1st crash of Adam Air Flight 574 into Indonesian waters, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) have been retrieved from the wreckage.

The devices, collectively referred to as ‘black boxes’, had remained unrecovered over a dispute between the Indonesian government and the airline over who would bear the costs of salvage.

Only recently has a contract been signed with United States salvage firm Phoenix International, who arrived last week in Indonesia to receive the recorders, working co-operatively with the Indonesian Transport Safety Commission (ITSC) and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The boxes were located by an underwater remotely operated vehicle searching the seabed near Majene, Sulawesi, where the plane went down. They were approximately 2,000 metres (6,500 ft) down and 1,400 metres apart. The FDR was recovered on August 27 at midday and the CVR was retrieved the following day at 10 a.m.

According to Tatang Kurniadi, chairman of the ITSC, the boxes exibit only minor physical damage, but there is currently no way of knowing if the data they contain has been damaged or destroyed by their prolonged stay underwater.

The devices will now be sent to Washington for analysis by NTSB specialists.

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August 7, 2005

Russian submarine rescued by Royal Navy

Russian submarine rescued by Royal Navy – Wikinews, the free news source

Russian submarine rescued by Royal Navy

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Sunday, August 7, 2005

The vessel was trapped on the eastern shore of Russia's Kamchatka peninsula

A Russian submarine trapped during a training exercise in Berezov Bay, 75 km south of Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka, has been rescued after it was cut free by a Royal Navy Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The crew of seven officers and midshipmen, who spent three days in temperatures around 6oC and were running out of oxygen supplies, were unharmed.

The submarine appeared on the surface at 4:15 p.m. local time. “The crew opened the hatch and climbed the rescue ship’s deck on their own,” said Admiral Victor Fyedorov. The first aid to the crew was given on ship Alagez, and they were transferred to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka hospital.

The British Scorpio ROV cut fishing nets and debris, freeing the trapped submarine. “The rescue operation was completed successfully. We thank everyone, and especially the British rescue crew,” said Fyedorov.

The submarine will be repaired and modernized. “After salvaging it, AS-28 will be carried on one of the rescue ship’s decks to the coast, where specialists will examine it,” said a spokesperson of VMS (“Company for secondary metal and boats”). Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged an inquiry into the incident.

The United States and Japan also sent equipment to help in the rescue. However, it was not used.

Crew

  • Vyacheslav Milashevskiy (Вячеслав Милашевский), captain-lieutenant
  • Antoliy Popov (Анатолий Попов), navigator
  • Sergey Belezerov (Сергей Белозеров)
  • Alexandr Uybin (Александр Уйбин)
  • Alexandr Ivanov (Александр Иванов)
  • Valeriy Lepotyuha (Валерий Лепетюха)
  • Henadiy Polonin (Геннадий Полонин)



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  • “Stranded Russian minisub is trapped by 60 tonne anchor” — Wikinews, August 5, 2005

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August 5, 2005

Stranded Russian minisub is trapped by 60 tonne anchor

Stranded Russian minisub is trapped by 60 tonne anchor

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Friday, August 5, 2005

The mini sub is trapped off the south-easteren coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula

The Interfax news agency is reporting that a Russian minisub that was stranded underwater in the Pacific Ocean is trapped by two 60 tonne anchors.

The submarine propeller has snagged on the antenna of a sonar underwater coastal defense station, (or perhaps very long low frequency arrays, which can be thousands of yards) 623 ft below the ocean 43 miles off Kamchatka. “The anchor needs to be blown up” in order to be able to raise the AS-28 submarine, the commander of the Russian Pacific Fleet told Interfax.

“If the explosion is successful, the system will be raised to a depth of 100 meters and lit up by the Tiger [television camera], and we can at last be 100% sure that it’s the submarine, and deepwater divers will be able to continue work,” he continued.

The AS-28 submarine, with seven crew onboard, became entangled on Thursday while at a depth of 190 m.

Earlier reports that the submarine had been taken under tow have been proved false. Ships had attempted to trawl for the submarine in order to drag it into shallower water, but it is reported that they failed to capture the submarine.

The Pacific Fleet commander says that the crew have enough food and water to survive until Monday although oxygen will run out by Saturday. The three-man submarine was designed to supply the crew with a five day supply of oxygen, however with the seven man crew the supply has been greatly depleted.

A C-5 Galaxy is loaded with people and equipment from the Deep Submergence Unit, Naval Base Coronado. The C-5 is bringing two Super Scorpio robotic rescue vehicles to Russia to assist in the rescue.

Around ten Russian navy ships are attending, to be joined by four Japanese vessels on Monday. The US and UK navies are also flying in specialist rescue equipment, including two U.S. navy owned remotely-operated underwater robots capable of cutting through steel lines up to 1″ thick and one U.K. video array ROV. They will arrive on Saturday.

The crew have been using an underwater acoustic telephone to communicate with the surface, and are reported to be remaining calm. They have been told to keep still and to conserve the ship’s power supplies.

The same class of vessel, which measures 13.5 m by 3.8 m, was used during the ill-fated rescue attempt on the Kursk, which was lost with all hands almost exactly five years ago.


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