ROV Recovery at Endeavour
On Thursday, August 26, 2021, remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) Hercules and Argus became detached from the cable connecting them to E/V Nautilus at a depth of 2220m off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Ocean Exploration Trust team is now investigating the cause of the detachment and transitioning to a plan to recover the vehicles, which are still tethered together and residing on the seafloor at a known depth and location. This incident occurred entirely underwater and at no time was an unsafe situation for the team onboard. While this is a rare event to happen, this is not the first of these types of situations within the field of ocean exploration and research. We are proceeding with a recovery plan with the assistance of the University of Washington’s R/V Thomas G. Thompson and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s ROV Jason. We are grateful to be able to launch this effort so quickly thanks to the herculean rallying of support from our partners, colleagues, and collaborators.