The Kongsberg scanning sonar
device in the process of being set-up. A rotating head sits on a
tripod of PCV pipes and gives a 360 degree image of the search area.
Sergeant Jeff Morgan sets up a laptop
computer and projector in the Vantuna Galley so a live image can be
seen during the demonstration. An EAST student is on hand to offer
Equipment Officer Steve Giles lowers the sonar into the water
off San Pedro while another EAST student looks on. The tripod is
weighted so that it naturally rights itself on the bottom.
The device was easily deployed off the stern
of the RV Vantuna.
Here is the sonar unit sitting on the
Research and Development Officer Larry
Fuller of VC SAR suits up to dive for the sonar demonstration.
Fuller and Training Officer Dominique
Evans-Bye (EAST Facilitator) use full face masks with DiveLink
underwater communicators to receive instructions from the boat and
talk to topside personnel.
Evans-Bye gets a final checkout from an
Oxnard PD diver before entering the water.
The diver is steadied at the gate with the
heavy equipment. Redundant systems are important when diving with a
full face mask. Divers carry an extra mask and extra air supply (pony
Fuller also gets a final check-out.
Fuller had just entered the water and gave
an "OK" signal before moving off to join his buddy.
Giles runs surface communication with the
Sergeant Morgan uses Kongsberg software to show
live images of the divers underwater and can direct them to a target
using surface to diver communications.
Divers receive a compass heading from the
surface and head out to investigate a sonar target.
The sonar showed a small reef on the
otherwise flat featureless bottom of the area being studied.
The reef was blanketed in gorgonians.
After the divers surface, Giles declines
offers to help pull the unit back up. He finds it is light-weight and
Sergeant Morgan debriefs the divers.
The sonar system has a built-in GPS. EAST
students compare the accuracy of the Kongsberg system to the class
Trimble units. GPS coordinates are taken on each sampling location.
Vantuna's marine biologist, John Murphy, retrieves
the Van Veen grab and places the sediment sample into the collecting
Here an EAST student carefully collects a
sediment sample into an EPA approved collection jar.