Submarine Escape Suits now available for sale.

Silvercrest is now the distributor for the Submarine Escape Jerkin, a safety device designed for crews to escape from small submarines and submersibles. The jerkin works on a similar principle to the traditional submarine escape suits used by the Royal Navy, which have been successfully used on trials from 600ft (200m) depths. The jerkin is packed in a compact valise bag that can be easily stowed in a confined space, with one bag per crewmember. The Submarine Escape Jerkin can be quickly unpacked and fitted when required.

The jerkin features a waistcoat type construction fitted with a stole or life jacket section, and an ascent hood fully enclosing the escaper's head. The stole is fed with breathing quality air from an integrally mounted air bottle. The airflow from the stole into the ascent hood is automatically controlled by a pair of pre-set relief valves. When worn with the hood fully closed, surplus air is allowed to escape from an aperture at the base of the ascent hood. Thus always giving the wearer newly replenished air to breath on his ascent from the submarine to the surface. The submarine escape jerkin is fitted with an inner hood for added comfort and security. A waist belt and crutch straps are fully adjustable to ensure a comfortable fit. Supplied with seawater activated light, whistle, torch and sea marker dye pack. All the above is contained in a special purpose carry valise.

The Submarine Escape Jerkin is the ideal escape suit for crews wishing to escape from stranded manned submersibles and other small submarines being used in military, scientific research, underwater leisure, and other subsea operations. The escape jerkin features a waistcoat type construction, fitted with a stole or life jacket section and an ascent hood fully enclosing the escaper’s head. Contact Silvercrest for details, delivery schedule, and pricing.

Hyball Spares for sale.

A large number of Offshore spare parts including Field Maintenance Kit, 'O' Ring Kit, manual, Thruster Re-Build Kit, PCB Spares Kit - Vehicle, PCB Spares Kit - Surface Unit, Hand Controller assembly with Cable, Thruster Assembly Power Module Assembly, Vacuum Valve Assembly, Pressure Transducer Assembly, Motor Gearbox Camera Rotate Assembly, Compass Assembly, Vacuum Pump & Weights, Topside Control Unit , Umbilical @ 300m, Umbilical @ 196m. Plus lots more. Contact us for a complete list and price.

ComSub on Television (Discovery Channel TV).

Our two-man mini sub (ComSub) recently featured on the "Extreme Machines" programme shown on Discovery Channel TV. The programme is one of a series of six that features a range of transportation by land, air and sea. The latest film discussed the history and operation of submarines.

The Comsub is a small two-man submarine built in Europe to a very high technical standard that offers a relatively spacious interior, and a full range of safety features. Ideal for yacht-based activities, underwater filming, scientific research, and for private buyers. Operating depth: 200m (600ft). Dry weight: 4 tons. Panoramic viewports, External Lights, Compass, Sonar, Echo sounder, and communications. Contact us for full details and to discuss availability for underwater filming and scientific research projects.

ROVs Wanted for Purchase.

We have a number of clients looking to purchase Rovs, especially smaller units that are in working order or perhaps need a refit. Perhaps you have a Hyball or Phantom, sitting in your store that is not being used. If so, please e-mail the details to us. We will be pleased to sell your Rov for you.

Larger Rov systems are also required.

WWII midget sub 'found'

A midget submarine that sank HMAS Kuttabul and brought World War II to Sydney is lying in Broken Bay, researchers have said.A live television documentary, M24: The Last Sunrise, on Foxtel and Sky News last night claimed the missing submarine, which torpedoed the Kuttabul on May 31, 1942, lies at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River. The claim was backed up by technical surveys showing an object with the same dimensions as the M24 submarine - 24m long and 2m in diameter - lying east of Lion Island. The evidence has been handed on to the New South Wales Heritage Office. The M24 was one of three that slipped into Sydney Harbour on May 31 and sank the Kuttabul, killing 19 Australian and two British sailors. One of the three submarines became tangled in an anti-submarine net and its crew, Lieutenant Kenshi Chuma and Petty Officer Takeshi Ohmori, blew up their vessel. Harbour patrol vessels spotted the second submarine in Taylors Bay and dropped depth charges on it. Lieutenant Keiu Matsuo and Petty Officer Masao Tsuzuku shot themselves rather than surrender.

After firing its second torpedo, which ran aground on rocks east of Garden Island, the M24 disappeared. Most theories held that the sub either sank in Sydney Harbour, was scuttled east of the Harbour or went south to Botany Bay hoping to rendezvous with the mother submarine. Film-maker Damien Lay and historian Jim Macken worked on Macken's theory that the sub went north instead of south. While researching his book Pittwater's War, Macken found war diaries in the Australian War Memorial archives suggesting the sub headed into the Hawkesbury. Macken said on July 8, a full week after the attack on Sydney Harbour, a submarine was reported near Brooklyn. A flurry of sightings around the Hawkesbury followed and planes were ordered to search the area in the hope of catching the sub. The fear of another attack was so great an anti-submarine net was strung along the Hawkesbury River Bridge and concrete was placed to protect the train line from attack. According to the war diaries, a submarine was spotted stranded among the Hawkesbury River mangroves around midday on July 9, but had vanished by the time searchers arrived. Lay said there was "a lot of hysteria" in Sydney at the time and many submarine sightings were reported, but the level of detail in the war diaries made Macken's evidence compelling. "The sightings were clear. It couldn't be anything else [but a midget sub] and it had to be the M24," Macken said. "The only submarine sightings taken seriously by military authorities were in Broken Bay."


Please contact Silvercrest for technical details and prices.

Hyball Offshore ROV System for sale.

Dive ready and in good condition. Complete with vehicle, Surface control unit and surface monitor, colour camera, manipulator arm, two 300m umbilicals and Hydrovision technical manuals. Spare parts include: 2 x Spare thruster motors, plus various thruster parts (rotors, brushes etc). 2 x power packs. 1 x port hull. 2 x Spare joy sticks. Training course available.


Recently upgraded, in good condition and dive ready. This system includes a container (EEX), A- frame and TMS. Operating depth 500m. The Rov system has a new, modern control system with a lot of very nice features. Also new thrusters. The system is ideal for subsea inspection and survey work.

Super Scorpio Type Rov (100Hp).

A heavy-duty underwater vehicle designed to carry out a wide variety of recovery, observation and manipulator tasks to a water depth of 1000m. Equipped with Sonar, TV cameras, lights, manipulators and other specialised underwater survey equipment. The ROV will also provide electrical and hydraulic interfacing for general purpose and support tooling. The system comprises: 100 Hp Rov, Control Container, Charge Cart, Vehicle Spares and Technical Manuals.

Abyssub Rov (5000m).

This very deep diving Rov is currently in storage, and requires a refit programme. This is the deepest diving Rov type that ISE has built, and todate only three systems have been delivered. They are based on the HYSUB ATP-40 with components modified for operation to 5000m (16,400ft). The vehicle is deployed in a cage. The steel armoured umbilical contains single mode optical fibres for all video, sonar, instrumentation and data signals. Please contact us for details.

Phantom Rov (DHD2+2) for Sale.

Only has 100 hours of dive time. Excellent condition with sonar, manipulator and broadcast quality camera. 600 m umbilical cable plus DOE cable-reel with slip-ring. 4 x aft thrusters, 2 x Lateral thrusters, 1 x Vertical thruster. One function Manipulator arm, with cutter blades. 3 x Forward Lights. Camera fitted to Pan and Tilt actuator. Stainless steel frame. Tritech Sea King Sonar. DiveTracker tracking system. Spares Kit.


The smallest inspection class Rov in the market place (190mm fly through). The AC-ROV is more powerful, more robust and a more cost effective solution than all other Rovs in its class. This Rov can hover, circle, rotate on its axis, and move in any direction the target requires. Operating depth of 75-100m. A total system carry-case weight of under 15kg. The unit has been designed for inspection in hazardous and confined areas. Rov Size: 203mm x 152mm x 146mm. Weight: 3kg. Camera: Colour CCD. Thrusters: 6 thrusters (4 x horizontal vectored, 2 x vertical). Lights: 4 cluster leds (variable intensity). Tether: Options to 80m with hand reel. Tether Connection: Top, back or bottom. System Power: 300 watt (0.4hp). Payload: 300g. Inputs: 90/260vac (47/63Hz) or 124/370vdc.

Phantom Ultimate Rov fully updated with new flying tether.

Depth rating 2500ft (800m). Control console, power transformer (220vac three phase), spares, broadcast quality video camera (ROS high resolution colour camera with zoom), pan & tilt unit, 2x 250w lights, 4-function manipulator, sediment blower, and Imagenix sonar. Bandit winch with 2000ft of double armour cable. Rov weight: 800lbs. Rov dimensions: 3ft(h) x 4ft(w) x 5ft(l). Excellent package in dive ready condition.

Phantom 500 Rov for sale.

Complete with vehicle, lateral thruster, camera/tilt unit, surface control unit 500, spare parts, and manuals. Also includes a Phantom 300 console. The 500ft umbilical is in "new" condition. Vehicle is in good condition, but requires minor maintenance.

Hyball Standard ROV System for Sale, 1000ft depth rated.

System includes dual colour cameras, complete with vehicle, surface unit, monitor, joystick, shipping containers, 500ft umbilical, numerous spares (Spare thruster/gearbox assy, 2 new thruster motors, vacuum pump, tools, circuit boards). Hydrovision system manuals. One thruster needs repair.

Apache Rov in working condition and dive ready.

Depth rated to 1000m. The package being offered for sale consists of a basic Apache Rov, 75m of surface umbilical, surface control unit, surface transformer, tool kit, spare parts, and technical manuals. Sonar, cameras and manipulator available at additional cost.

ROV launch and recovery skid (LARS) for sale.

Complete with: Hydraulic knuckle boom crane (600kg at 6.0m). Hydraulic Power Pack. Electro-hydraulic umbilical handling winch, with approximately 450m of umbilical in good condition. Dimensions of the skid are 3500mm x 2200mm. Transit height is 2200mm, and overall weight 4.5tonnes. There is a Tether Management System (TMS) but no vehicle. This unit was originally used by an Apache Rov. The TMS has 150m of flying tether fitted. US$ POA.


Scorpene Submarine Programme

The Indian government has chosen Armaris, a joint venture between Thales and DCN, as prime contractor for the technology transfer programme under which six conventionally propelled Scorpène submarines will be built in India. For Thales, the contract is worth nearly 600 million Euro. Thales will assume prime contracting responsibilities through Armaris and will provide assistance to the Indian shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited. The company will also supply key subsystems for the submarines' six SUBTICS(r) integrated combat systems, including underwater sensors, communications and optronics, and electronic warfare equipment.


SBS Commander dies in Mini-sub.

The SBS force commander Lt Col van der Horst has died during an amphibious exercise off Norway, while aboard a submerged mini submarine. The six man sub carried a pilot, co-pilot, plus four combat divers in an aft compartment. The widow of the commanding officer of the Special Boat Service is set to sue the Ministry of Defence over his death. Belinda van der Horst blames the MoD for the diving accident that claimed his life during a Nato exercise in Norway in March. According to members of his former regiment, she intends to sue the Government to secure the financial future of her two young daughters. Lt Col Richard van der Horst, 38, died a week after an exercise involving a six-seater Swimmer Delivery Vehicle, a miniature submarine designed for the United States Navy Seals. The SDV is a classified piece of equipment that can carry frogmen for more than 50 miles underwater. It has a pilot and navigator at the front with four other men and equipment in a compartment behind. All on board must carry diving gear, including gases to breath, as the SDV has none of its own. It is understood that Col van der Horst got into difficulty during an "acquaint dive" where personnel make themselves familiar with the equipment they are using. The basis of Mrs van der Horst's claim will be that her husband should not have been allowed to take part because he was unfamiliar with the apparatus. It is also understood that although he was a diving instructor, he did not have his diving qualifications with him, automatically preventing his taking part. She will claim that even though the "dive master" on the exercise was of a lesser rank, he should have had the authority to stop her husband diving. If Mrs van der Horst is successful she can expect a six-figure sum in compensation in addition to a military pension, which would be a portion of his £65,000 salary. Col van der Horst was regarded as one of the most gifted officers of his generation and was expected to reach the rank of general. The inquest into his death was held in secret on Nov 13 to protect the identities of the troops who took part in the exercise. Col van der Horst was pulled from the water and died later in hospital. Dr Ian Calder, an expert in diving accidents, found that the cause of death was fluid in the lungs. The colonel was born in Devon and went to school at Sherborne. He graduated in biological science at Birmingham University and followed his father Rupert - who commanded the SBS from 1978-1980 - into the Royal Marines. After the first Gulf war, he helped policing the Kurdish haven in northern Iraq so that aid agencies could operate without fear of attack. He was selected for the SBS in 1991 and in 2000 helped to plan the successful rescue of six British soldiers kidnapped during United Nations peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone. A Royal Marine officer, said: "There is a great deal of sympathy for Mrs van der Horst within the corps and I think a lot of the men will support her in her claim. She was two delightful daughters and needs to consider them." Last night Mrs van der Horst refused to comment. A Ministry of Defence official said the department was aware that she was considering legal action. An MoD spokesman added: "The investigation into the death of Lt Col Richard van der Horst, RM, during a tragic diver training accident in Norway in March 2005 is now complete. Its recommendations will be implemented to reduce the risk of such an incident happening again.
Our thoughts are with the Van der Horst family."

Hunt for Submarine USS Alligator.

The search for the US Navy's first submarine, the USS Alligator, by NOAA and ORE continues off North Carolina. Launched in 1862 the Alligator represented a leap forward in naval engineering due to the submarine airlock, which was designed to allow a diver to exit the vessel while submerged and place an explosive charge onto an enemy ship. In 1863 while being towed south to join an attack on Charleston, the Alligator was lost in a storm.

Japanese Submarine found.

Scientists from the University of Hawaii say they have discovered the wreckage of a "monster" World War II-era Japanese submarine in waters off the island of Oahu. The Japanese I-401 was found during test dives by a Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory submersible, 820m below the water's surface, according to John Wiltshire, acting director of the laboratory.

British Submarine E16.

The British submarine E16 that sank in 1916 during the first World War, with a crew of 31, has been found by divers off the coast of Germany.

The mystery of the M1 Submarine.

The M1 was the pride of the British Navy. She was Britain's most advanced submarine, 100 metres long and weighed 2,000 tons. It was fitted with its own massive artillery gun that could hit targets that were 20 miles away, a reminder to the world that Britain still ruled the waves. However, in 1925, she went missing on a routine mission in the English Channel and the crew of 69 men were lost. Able Seaman Sales went ashore, just hours before she sailed, as he had learned that his mother had died. He was the only 'survivor' of the M1 crew. In the Board of Inquiry that followed the disappearance, it was believed that the SS Vidar had been involved in a collision with the sub. There was unexplained damage to the bow of the ship and fragments of naval issue paint were also found there. However, the exact cause and location remained a mystery. It is a mystery which has fascinated former Navy diver, Richard Larn. He has spent the last 15 years of his life searching for the wreck. It wasn't an easy task for there are more shipwrecks per square mile in the English Channel than anywhere else in the world. Last year, he finally pinpointed the M1 using sonar, at a depth of 70m. A diving team confirmed that the wreck was the M1 thanks to the distinctive footholds in the conning tower. The investigation of the divers and an Rov found that the gun had been ripped off the sub in the collision with the SS Vidar. The weight of the gun, hanging over the side of the sub, destabilised it and the sub went down to the seabed in freefall. The control areas of the sub were flooded which meant that the crew couldn't lift the sub off the seafloor, and there was no possibility of escape. The M1 is an official War Grave and protected by the 'Military Remains Act' 1986. Divers may not enter such wrecks or, in any way, disturb them.

Diving Sphere

Jay Baker kindly sent us two photo's of a Diving Sphere that a close friend owns. Her Husband, Peter Lutjens, built it. He built at least two others but I do not know of there where about. Peter died some years ago, and his wife would like to sell this Diving Sphere. On the back of the picture Peter wrote that the diving sphere has a diving ability of 3,000 ft. If anyone can assist with more information on these diving spheres, or wouId be interesting in buying one. Please contact Silvercrest.


Silvercrest can offer a range of submarine and Rov support equipment. Please contact us with your requirements, and we will be pleased to assist you.


Please contact Silvercrest for full technical details and prices.


A small two-man submarine built in Europe to a very high technical standard that offers a relatively spacious interior, and a full range of safety features. Ideal for yacht-based activities, underwater filming, scientific research, and for private buyers. Operating depth: 200m (600ft). Dry weight: 4tons. Viewports: 4 x flat acrylic (340mm) forward looking, 4 x conning tower (120mm), 1 x hatch viewport (90mm). External Lights, Compass, Sonar, Echo sounder, and communications. A great buy.


The AquaGlider is a three man open-hull wet submersible. Passengers may choose to wear their own scuba gear allowing them to leave the AquaGlider for exploration. Alternatively the AquaGlider can carry HP air tanks and the passenger's air supply is delivered through onboard hoses connected to the air tanks in the rear of the vehicle. The pilot, sitting in the rear seat, controls the AquaGlider using the rudder to pivot the motors, and the fins to control depth.

Length: 12 ft. 8 inches (3.8 meters). Width with fins: 6 ft. 1 inch (1.85 meters). Height: 28 inches (0.7 meters).

Dry weight: 550 lbs (250 kg). Max. depth: 120 ft. (30 meters). Speed: 3 knots. The Aquaglider is being sold complete with a Road trailer (15 feet 2003 Carnai). Training course available on request.


A state of the art two-man submersible with a very high-tech image and specification. Operational depth: 150ft (50m). Weight: 3.6tons in air. Carbon steel hull, lead acid batteries, computerized touch-screen system activation, and joystick controls. Full range of life support and safety equipment. Domed acrylic viewports for both crewmembers. The ultimate submarine for yacht based recreation, or underwater leisure activities. Available for immediate delivery.


Research submarine built in 1995. To date this submarine has completed eighty dives. Crew: pilot plus two passengers. Dive duration six hours. Maximum depth 180 meters, and has been tested by the Turkish navy to 415 meters. Three thrusters. Battery capacity 6.6kw (4 x 185Ah). Weight: 2.52 tons. Length: 4.20m, Width:1.55m, Height: 1.92m.


A small one-man submarine designed for leisure, filming, research, and simple search and recovery activities. Lightweight, easily towed on a trailer by car, this submarine can be used by the family, or local scuba club, for weekend dives. Domed acrylic viewport. External light. Submarine trailer included. Communications and simple manipulator available by request. Training course available at your home site. Operational Depth: 250ft (80m). Crew: one. Weight: one ton.


A one-man one-atmosphere tethered submersible, built in Canada by ISE. This unit is lightweight and ideal for salvage, scientific research, or general underwater tasks. This unit requires a minor refit prior to commencing dive operations. Operating Depth: 1200ft (400m). Crew: one. Weight: 1500kg. Two large acrylic viewports, manipulator arm, external lights and communications with the surface.


This three-man dry ambient submarine is made in the USA. Luxury vinyl interior, diesel electric, three passengers, with trailer and battery chargers. Powered by electric batteries and a small diesel engine. Three acrylic domed-hatches. Operational depth: 140ft. Weight: 2 tons. Fitted with all control systems, underwater communications, scanning sonar and three video cameras. Speed: 10 kts under diesel, 8 kts surfaced electric, 3 kts underwater. Training course provided.


This submarine has been constructed to a very high standard, and is ideal for underwater work, and leisure activities. Operating Depth: 1000ft (300m). Crew: two or three. Weight: 14 tons. Large front viewport, and small conning tower viewports. Diver Lockout. Manipulator arm, external lights, communications and sonar.


This is a small tourist submarine designed for four passengers and one pilot. Exceptional 360-degree viewing through the clear acrylic hull. Operating depth: 150ft(50m). Weight: 12tons.


This large multi passenger tourist submarine has been designed for the underwater leisure market. An excellent opportunity to acquire a purpose built submarine. Operating Depth: 240ft (75m). Weight: 105 tons. Crew: Two pilots and forty-eight passengers. Large viewports on all sides. External lights, video, sonar and communications.


A medium size multi passenger tourist submarine, designed for the underwater leisure market. Operating Depth: 300ft (100m). Weight: 35 tons. Crew: Two pilots and twenty-four passengers. Large viewports on all sides. External lights, communications, video and sonar. Two units available


The Mergo is a tourist submarine, safe and comfortable, designed for the smaller tourist resort. This submarine is ideal for start-up operations, and organisations entering the underwater market for the first time. Operating Depth 300ft (100m). Crew: One pilot and ten passengers. Weight: 24 tons. Large front viewport, large tower viewport, ten large individual passenger viewports. External lights, sonar, acoustic tracking, video and communications.

Colombian Police find Drugs Sub.

Police in Colombia have uncovered a submarine, which they believe was built by drug smugglers to transport cocaine. The nearly complete eight-metre fibreglass vessel, capable of carrying 10 tonnes of the drug, worth $200m, was found in the Pacific port of Tumaco. Police had been monitoring its construction for six months. They believe the Norte del Valle cartel, the last surviving Colombian drug trafficking organisation, planned to use it to smuggle drugs to the US. Colombia's Department of Administrative Security says the submarine would have been used to evade radar and naval patrol ships, taking drugs out to sea where they could be transferred to high-speed motorboats for the journey to Central America and on to the United States. "The ingenuity of drug traffickers is amazing. They will seek any way to avoid the coast guard," Eduardo Fernandez, head of Colombia's secret police in Valle del Cauca state, told the Associated Press. The submarine was apparently designed to be ready for Easter, when the smugglers believed police would be less vigilant. "On the contrary, security in the area has been boosted," said Mr Fernandez. No arrests were made in Friday's operation. In 2000, police found a 30-metre steel submarine under construction far inland, near the capital Bogota It would have been capable of carrying up to 200 tonnes of cocaine.

Homeland Security.

A timely breakthrough in Homeland Security has been achieved through a technology development partnership. For the first time a fully integrated and supported ROV Threat Inspection System is now available to front line operatives and security professionals in the fight against terrorism. The Viperfish Search Warrant system has specifically been developed to examine, evaluate and record the threat posed by unknown, potentially dangerous targets wherever water can conceal them. State of the art front end ROV technology is backed up by cutting edge Digital Video Recorder (DVR) equipment, used to inspect and search for explosives, narcotics and weapons by security specialists. For the first time, the front line operator has the option of a purpose built underwater inspection system developed and designed specifically for Homeland Security operations. The Search Warrant technology offers a real weapon against terrorism. Unprecedented mobility and inspection capabilities are now coupled with digital image and audio recording that is instantly viewable / downloadable. While a fully integrated ROV Threat Inspection System is a breakthrough in itself, what is more amazing about this equipment is that it is a true single operator system. Completely portable, the system is deployed and piloted by the individual - who evaluates, identifies and records the suspicious target. With obvious time and cost savings, the real saving is that of risk to life.

U.S. Navy Submarines.

The US Navy and the US Missile Defence Agency are currently studying the feasibility of using fleet ballistic missile submarines for the new multi -layer missile defense system.

The USS Jimmy Carter has been refitted to accommodate 50 special forces soldiers and remote controlled vehicles.

The USS Virginia was recently launched at Norfolk, Virginia. The first submarine of the new generation of attack submarines.

Submarine-Technology Development.

General Dynamics Electric Boat (Groton, Connecticut) has been awarded three contracts worth a total of $20.5 million to develop submarine technology for a joint Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/U.S. Navy program. The awards are part of a four-year, $97 million program known as Tango Bravo. This program is examining certain technologies to determine whether they can meet stringent submarine performance requirements while reducing ship-acquisition and life-cycle costs and improving the warfighting capabilities and mission adaptability of future submarines. The designation Tango Bravo refers to the term "technology barrier." Read more.


A giant pacific octopus attacked a Seaeye Falcon ROV working off Vancouver Island as it was locating and recovering receivers tracking pacific offshore salmon migration. The incident was caught on the ROV's video by Mike Wood of SubOceanic Sciences Canada. He had just located a data recorder and taken a grip of the cable with the ROV's manipulator arm, when suddenly an 80 lb octopus launched an attack. With tentacles 'as thick as man's arm' and a bite that he believed can exert 1000 lbs pressure, Mike Wood feared the octopus would bite the camera cable or umbilical and trip out the Falcon ROV. Not wanting to lose the receiver that he had just located he decided to take on the creature and after tightening his grip of the cable with the manipulator arm, revved the ROV's thrusters in reverse in an attempt to blast seabed particles at the creature. For a moment the octopus appeared to intensify its attack with its mantle flared but eventually the swirling fragments drove it away. The giant pacific octopus, octopus dofleini, is the largest species of octopods and although it grows to an average weight of 50 to 90 lbs with a span of 16ft, a monster 600lbs one has been recorded. They are intelligent creatures who can negotiate mazes and learn to unscrew jars to remove food..........So no problem disassembling an ROV ...........

AUV glides to a World Record.

A small ocean glider has become the first AUV to cross the Gulf Stream underwater, completing the 900 km journey at a speed of 19km per day. The AUV was recovered off Bermuda after gathering ocean data on current patterns and circulation.

Canadian Submarine on Fire.

The Canadian submarine HMCS Chicoutimi experienced a fatal fire during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic.

Submarine to Chile.

Chile received its first Scorpene attack submarine, and expects a second at the end of 2005. The new submarines will replace two Oberon class units commissioned in 1976.

S-80 Submarines for Spain.

Spain is funding a study to develop air-independent propulsion technology for their S-80 submarines. Four of these submarines will be built by Spain between 2005 and 2014, at a cost of US$2.4 billion.

Royal Navy.

The Trident class submarine HMS Vanguard hs successfully launched an unarmed Trident 11 D5 ballistic missile during an exercise in the Atlantic.

Deep 6000m Rov.

Phoenix International has been awarded a contract to design and build a new scientific research Rov for NOAA. Operational depth 6000m.

Denmark de-commissioning their submarines.

The Defence Minister has announced that Denmark will end 95 years of submarine operations, and de-commission their four German designed diesel submarines.

Submarine and Rov Books.

The following books are currently available from your local bookstore.

Living and Working in the Sea (James Miller).
American Deep Submersible Operations (Will Forman).
Introduction to Rov Operations (George Last).
Submarines of the World (Robert Jackson).
Handbook of Acrylics (Jerry Stachiw).
Run Silent (Philip Kaplan).
Handbook for Rov Supervisors (Chris Bell).

Dismantling Nuclear Submarines.

The Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Power has stated that Russia wants to start dismantling foreign nuclear submarines. While they have the capacities to do this, the question remains - where will the spent nuclear fuel from submarine reactors be stored? Russia is currently dismantling only its own nuclear submarines, and doing so with a foreign aid. Russia received $100 million a year for these purposes. In the space of five to six years, all of the remaining 8 Russian nuclear submarines will be scrapped. Following that, the agency said they would be ready to take U.S., British, and French submarines, which would save foreign partners considerable sums and bring in earnings for Russia. Read more:

Submarine runs into an undersea mountain.

APRA HARBOR, Guam, May 18, 2005. A series of mistakes caused the San Francisco, a 6,900-ton submarine, to run into an undersea mountain not on its charts. Blood was everywhere. Sailors lay sprawled across the floor, several of them unconscious, others simply dazed. Even the captain was asking, "What just happened?" All anyone knew for sure was that the nuclear-powered attack submarine had slammed head-on into something solid and very large, and that it had to get to the surface fast. In the control room, a senior enlisted man shoved the "chicken switches," blowing high-pressure air through the ballast tanks to force the vessel upward. Usually, the submarine would respond at once. But as the captain, Cmdr. Kevin G. Mooney, and top officers stared at the depth gauge, the needle refused to move. Moments before, they had been slipping quiet and fast through the Pacific. Now, they were stuck, 500 feet down. Ten seconds passed. Then 20,30. "I thought I was going to die," Commander Mooney recalled. It would be close to a minute, before the submarine's mangled nose began to rise, before the entire control room exhaled in relief, before the diving officer, Chief Petty Officer Danny R.Hager, began to read out a succession of shallower depths. "I don't know how long it was," Chief Hager said, "but it seemed like forever."

Last week, Navy investigators reported that a series of mistakes at sea and onshore caused the 6,900-ton submarine, the San Francisco, to run into an undersea mountain not on its navigational charts. One crewman was killed, 98 others were injured, and the captain and three other officers were relieved of their duties as a result of the crash, one of the worst on an American submarine since the 1960's.

We have a wide range of submarines (big and small) plus Rovs for sale and possible charter. Priced to suit all budgets and tasks. Contact us at anytime to discuss the options and to exchange ideas. For example, we have for sale in excellent condition, a four-man (1000ft depth rated) submersible with diver lockout facility. We also have immediately available a range of multi passenger tourist submarines (ten to forty passenger). Small two / three man submersibles, and one-man ADS units.

Pilot training and maintenance courses are arranged to support every submarine sale if required. Please contact us to discuss your exact requirements.

Sportsub for sale (Very good condition and great price).

A two/three man wet submersible that incorporates the dynamics of both flying and scuba diving. Constructed from fiberglass, the Sportsub can travel through the water further and faster than scuba divers, and has a dive duration of approximately three hours (limited by Dive Tables). Operating Depth: 120ft (40m). Crew: two or three. Weight: 0.5 ton. Viewing through acrylic viewports. Exit and re-entry underwater possible for trained scuba divers. Non-divers can travel in the Sportsub as passenger. Easy to operate and maintain. Pilot training course available. Excellent condition and dive ready.

Submarines for Charter.

We have a number of submarines available for long and short-term hire and charter. These are ideal for underwater filming, documentaries, scientific research projects, and subsea salvage. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Sever.2 Submersible for charter or sale.

This well-known deep diving submarine from the Ukraine is now available for sale or charter. Surface Displacement (dry weight) 38.7 tons. Overall Length 12 m. Operating Depth to 2,000 m. Crew (2 pilots and 3 observers). Active Submerged work time 6 hr. Passive submerged period 72 hr. The submersible is designed to provide viewing through 3 portholes 140mm in diameter and 4 portholes 60mm in diameter. Electro hydraulic manipulators made of titanium alloy with 7 degrees of freedom.

Mega Yacht Building with small submarines.

Current projects confirm the predominant trend in mega yacht building – that length counts! Blohm+Voss has been preparing for this development and have completed project studies for yachts with lengths in excess of 76 metres. The highlight amongst the latest project is a 147-metre luxury yacht, which sets new standards in design, features and functionality. The design includes various loggias, balconies, oriels, sundecks, a swimming pool on the top deck, a cinema and a disco. The yacht has a garage for a small tourist submarine and a helicopter landing pad. In addition, a 18-metre long tender is integrated into the silhouette. Read more:

Deep Rover Submersibles.

In-Depth Marine Ltd has delivered new control systems for the two Deep Rover 1002 submersibles built in 1994, and operated by Deep Ocean Expeditions. The subs are two-man and have a 1000m diving depth.


The US navy now operates an Advanced SEAL Delivery System. The ASDS is a small submarine that weighs 55 tons, and is 65ft long. The single screw submarine can travel 125 miles at a speed of 8 knots, powered by silver zinc batteries (1200Kw). The unit carries a crew of two (pilot plus navigator) and 8 SEALs. The ASDS has three main compartments, control space, diver lockout chamber, and passenger/cargo space. Northup Grumman Corp are investigating a new lithium-ion battery for the ASDS, that once developed could increase the battery capacity by as much as twenty times the present capacity. A total of three ASDS units have been approved for construction.

Hardsuit delivered.

US based Phoenix International recently took delivery of two more Hardsuits (one-man ADS units), rated to 1200ft (365m). They were supplied by Oceanworks International of Houston. The suits are ideal for subsea intervention tasks, and subsea inspection activities.

US Navy Search and Salvage.

Phoenix international has the contract to provide worldwide underwater search, recovery, and submarine rescue services to the US Navy. Phoenix also operates and maintains US Navy sonar search systems and Rovs for the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving.

Pressurised Rescue Module System (PRMS).

ISE of Canada has a contract to build components and supply software for the US Navy PRMS, the new submarine rescue system. ISE is providing the control system, thrusters, power packs and various other items. The PRMS is a tethered , manned Rov used to transfer personnel between a stranded military submarine to the surface. The PRMS can operate in 2.5knot currents and operate to depths of 2000ft. Mating to a submarine can be achieved at 45 degrees, and 18 personnel can be rescued per dive.

Rescue Submersibles Quality Engineer

Perry Slingsby Systems has been seeking a quality engineer for the new DSRV. The job spec is to perform quality system project related activities to ensure Rescue Submersibles specifically meet the contract specified codes and standards. To prepare Quality Plans for the Rescue Submarines. To achieve the requirements of the prepared plan, coordinate with clients, third parties, and internal functions all planned quality and inspection activities. Review Certification Packages and ensure documentation for material certification, calibration and welding procedures for all systems are maintained. The successful candidate will have a college degree or equivalent experience in a technical area. Welding Inspection certification desirable. Contact:

Mini Subs (Submersibles) for sale.

For sale in excellent condition, a four-man (1000ft depth rated) submersible with diver lockout facility. Also immediately available a range of multi passenger tourist submarines (ten to forty passenger). Small two / three man submersibles, and one-man ADS units. Pilot training and maintenance courses are arranged to support every submarine sale if required.


A state of the art three-man submersible with a very high-tech image, operational depth: 300ft (100m). Stainless steel hull, nickel sodium batteries. Domed acrylic viewports for all crew members. This submersible is ideal for a range of underwater activities and especially for yacht based recreation. New build with test dives just completed.

Worlds Most Innovative Non-Nuclear Submarine.

The German Navy will be getting a revolutionary new submarine the 212A class. Conventional does not really do justice to it, non-nuclear would be better. The new submarine's outstanding feature is its atmospheric air independent propulsion system. This propulsion system is based on a quiet-running hydrogen fuel cell which not only makes the submarine very difficult to detect but also allows it to stay submerged for a long period of time.

SC-Bug Submersible.

A small privately constructed submersible designed for two or three persons. Ideal for underwater filming, research, and personal recreation. Operating Depth: 500ft (test depth 725ft). Length 12ft and width 5ft. Numerous viewports. Life support for three days. Over 500 dives completed todate. Training course available.


This is an exciting leisure submarine, which is ideal for underwater filming and pleasure activities in shallow water depths. Exceptional 360-degree viewing, through the acrylic hull. Operating Depth: 150ft(50m) with possible upgrade to 100m. Weight: 4tons. Crew: One pilot and two passengers. External lights, underwater communications, and sonar.


A joint research project is yielding new details about the U.S. Navy's first submarine, the USS “Alligator.” The U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research joined forces to uncover the secrets of a technological marvel of the Civil War era akin to the USS “Monitor” ironclad warship and the Confederate submarine CSS “Hunley” -- the USS Alligator. Launched in 1862, the Alligator was the U.S. Navy's first submarine. While the vessel represented a significant leap forward in naval engineering, complete information about its design and fate has been elusive. Today, NOAA and ONR released findings that help fill large gaps in the history of the all-but-forgotten Union submarine, including details about the Alligator's inventor, nnovative features, and loss in April 1863. “NOAA is excited to partner with the Office of Naval Research to bring the largely untold story of the Alligator to the public," said Dr. Richard W. Spinrad, assistant administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service. "Through the Alligator Project, we are learning not only about revolutionary developments in maritime technology but also the American Civil War experience and the pioneering spirit that built our great nation." Chief of Naval Research RAdm. Jay Cohen added, "The Alligator Project will test our ability to find an object in the sea in a reasonable amount of time and at a reasonable cost. If we can find the Alligator, we can find anything." Among the NOAA-ONR research team's recent discoveries are the only design drawings of the Alligator found to date. Drafted by French inventor Brutus de Villeroi, the drawings provide new details about the vessel's architecture and breakthrough technologies, including the first diver lockout chamber ever devised for a submarine as a weapons system. NOAA discovered Villeroi's original, hand-drawn designs in France in May 2003 after a search for Alligator-related documents led to the French navy's historical archives, the Service Historique de la Marine. Along with the design drawings, NOAA also found a number of original, hand-written letters exchanged by Villeroi and the French government. The letters document Villeroi's repeated but unsuccessful attempts to persuade the government of his native country to purchase his submarine design. An 1863 letter provides clues about the loss of the Alligator off the coast of North Carolina while it was being towed by the USS Sumpter from Washington, D.C., to Charleston, South Carolina. The information released, including images of the Alligator design drawings, historical documents, and a map depicting the last reported position of the submarine, are available on the Alligator Project website.

TAURUS Submarine for charter.

A multi purpose submersible, designed for one-atmosphere operations, diver lockout, dry transfer, and submarine rescue (DSRV). This submersible is in excellent condition and dive ready. Suitable for underwater tourism, scientific research, search and salvage, and a range of military tasks. Crew: six (normal), six (diver lockout operations), twenty-two (DSRV operations). Operational Depth: 1200ft (400m). Weight: 22 tons. One large front viewport, one large aft viewport, four tower viewports, one lower viewport. Fitted with external lighting, sonar system, acoustic tracking, communications, manipulator arm, and hydraulic cable cutter.

Mapping Uncharted Waters.

An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) called Autosub is about to become the first surveyor to breach one of the last unknown regions of the world. It will plunge into the unexplored pockets of the sea beneath the ice shelves of Antarctica. Traveling through the Amundsen Sea under the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, Autosub will gather data for four projects sponsored by the Natural Environment Resource Council. The aim is to understand the interactions between the glacier and the ocean, which may reveal the effects of global warming on the Antarctic region.

Adventurer-Sub for sale.

"DEAR ALAN, I have a Sub for sale (140ft depth, 3 crew) made by a small company in Florida.The inside of the sub is almost complete. The a/c gets installed next week. The dash is complete and looks great. The sub has been tested about 15 times and the biggest problem was the diesel and electric engines. But that is all fixed now. The tests where all in shallow water (25 ft.or less). More tests have to be done to find neutral buoyancy. The sub is not finished, but all the equipment is 100% paid for, with all parts and labour under a one year warranty. To finish the sub it will take testing and very little money. The builder says he will not build another one like mine for under $250,000. I upgraded almost every part over the last two years. I have registered the boat in Florida and the coast guard have approved it. This submarine would be a great buy for any enthusiast. Please inform all your readers”.


Cabo San Lucas, México -- Off the coast here, Pipin Ferreras set a new no limits free-diving world record of 558 feet (170 meters). Dr. Titanic, used manned submersibles and above and below water cameras to document the record. The dive took place at 11:30 a.m. in calm seas and light winds. The water temperature at the surface was 82°F and 55°F at 558 feet. The depth was confirmed using a precision instrument carried on Pipin's back, said McCoy. The cylindrical device, which contains a microprocessor, is accurate to within 3 inches and has been used to certify free-diving world records since 1995.


Ft. Pierce, Florida, USA -- In 1984, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution scientists discovered a small piece of sponge in the deep waters off the Bahamas that harboured chemical with a remarkable ability to kill cancer cells in laboratory tests. Despite almost two decades of subsequent searching, the group was never able to find enough of the sponge to fully explore its potential. But now that process can finally be in because, thanks to some creative detective work, the team has found the animal's secret hiding place and collected enough of it to support years of intense research. "It's just amazing," says Dr. Amy Wright, director of HBOIs Biomedical Marine Research, of the sponge she has been in a career-long quest to find. "This is our next cure, I know it's our next cure." A chemical produced within the sponge, which has not yet been given an official name, has proven in one test of cancer-fighting potential to be about 400 times more potent than Taxol®, a widely used treatment for breast and other forms of cancer. As important, preliminary experiments have also shown the compound to be fairly non-toxic to normal cells. But the limited amount of the sponge initially collected was not enough to carry the team through the long process of developing a potential medical treatment, which involves careful study of exactly how a chemical kills cancer cells and of its chemical structure.

On various expeditions over the years, scientists found only tiny pieces of the sponge, then last year two slightly larger pieces, but still they did not have enough to do the required research. So, in preparation for a cruise this year to the Bahamas that ran from October 9th through the 24th, Wright and her team used clues from where each piece had been collected to put together a profile of the habitat where it must live. The sponge was found in water more than 1,000 feet deep in an area the researchers often refer to as the "dead zone" because it is generally characterized by bare rock and very low biodiversity. The sponge, which can grow to about the size of a softball, had eluded researchers for so long because they generally avoid this area in favour of exploring more diverse habitats. Wright predicts that the quantity of the sponge collected on the expedition using the submersible should be enough to carry the team through the full multiyear drug discovery process, possibly even to the first phase of human trials. "I never thought I would see that much of the sponge ever," says Wright, "Now we have enough to move forward." Harbor Branch has already patented nearly a hundred potential pharmaceuticals from the tens of thousands of the organisms the Biomedical Marine Research group has collected since the 1980s at sites around the globe. Several of these are in various stages of development as potential commercial drugs. Discodermolide, a compound produced by a deep-water sponge found in the Bahamas, is currently in the first phase of human trials as a cancer treatment. For more information about this expedition as well as background articles on the team's research, visit Harbor Branch's online expedition site.

Hyball Rov available for sale.

In excellent condition, all latest circuit boards and modifications. Extensive spare parts package included. Training course available. Fantastic buy, a bargain.


Horten, Norway -- Following successful operations with Kongsberg Maritime's Hugin AUV early September in Luce Bay, Scotland, (in conjunction with the NATO exercise Northern Light*), the Royal Norwegian Navy mine hunter HNoMS Karmøy transferred east to Finnish waters for further challenges with the Hugin AUV and Minesniper mine disposal vehicle, according to company spokeswoman. In co-operation with the Finnish Navy, a series of survey tests were carried out over one-and-a-half-week time period to test and evaluate the Karmøy`s capability to detect, classify, and neutralize mine threats using the vessels complete range of mine countermeasure capability, including the Hugin, the MICOS 2 system, and the Minesniper mine disposal vehicle. Several missions were conducted in different areas to demonstrate the Hugin's capability in REA and MCM operations, including mine detection, localization, and classification. The vehicle was mostly run in autonomous mode, surfacing at regular intervals for vehicle navigation system updates by global positioning system (GPS) and communication with the mother ship via the radio link. Submerged, the acoustic links were used to communicate vehicle status and changes to the mission, if found necessary. For most of the operations, the Hugin was operated autonomously at very remote distances from the mother ship. For more information, contact Kongsberg Maritime Sales department on +47 3302 3938, >e-mail


Colchester, Essex, U.K. Robin Webb writes: " I am a Trustee of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hants. The museum is planning to put the miniature submersible LR3 under permanent cover shortly. If there are any ex-pilots or crew members of LR3 or similar vessels who would like to volunteer to assist in the restoration, could they please contact me or the museum". The picture below shows the inside of LR3 when we used to operate it in the North Sea (Alan).


General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp. was awarded a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract worth $222 million for the conversion of the first Ohio-class guided missile submarine (SSGN), USS Ohio (SSGN 726), and for long lead time material and conversion installation planning for the conversion of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), the USS Michigan (SSBN 727) and the USS Georgia (SSBN 729), to SSGN 727 and SSGN 729, respectively. Emphasizing the importance of SSGNs, Navy Secretary Gordon R. England said, "The SSGN is an example of the Navy's innovative transformation that supports our joint warfighters. With well over 20 years of life remaining, the SSGN conversion will significantly increase the strike capability and the flexibility of our special forces." The December 18 award modifies a contract with Electric Boat originally awarded on September 26, 2002, for SSGN detail design, long lead time material, and conversion planning. The contract also provides priced options totaling $152 million for the fiscal 2004 conversion of SSBN 728 (USS Florida) to SSGN 728 and for the completion of conversion installation planning for SSGN 729. Upon completion of their conversions, the SSGNs will be able to carry up to 154 Tomahawk missiles and to function as the host platform for 66 special operations forces. SSGN 726 began its engineering overhaul (ERO) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in November 2002 and began conversion work in November 2003. SSGN 728 began its ERO at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in August 2003 with conversion start planned in April 2004. Both the SSGN 726 and the SSGN 728 will complete conversion in fiscal 2006.

Ten-Passenger Submarine for sale.

The tourist submarine is very safe and comfortable, designed for the smaller tourist resort. This submarine is ideal for start-up operations, and organisations entering the underwater market for the first time. Operating Depth 300ft (100m). Crew: One pilot and ten passengers. Weight: 24 tons. Large front viewport, large tower viewport, ten large individual passenger viewports. External lights, sonar, acoustic tracking, video and communications.


Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, was awarded a $42.1 million contract modification for the execution of the USS Seawolf (SSN 21) selected restricted availability (SRA). The U.S. Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion & Repair, Groton Connecticut, is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Maritime Systems & Sensors (LMMSS), Manassas, Virginia, was awarded a not-to-exceed $117.2 million letter contract for level-of-effort supporting the acoustic rapid commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Insertion (A-RCI) program. The letter contract was awarded for engineering and technical services and associated materials for the design and development of upgrades, systems support, and production of A-RCI upgrade kits for the A-RCI Program. A-RCI is a sonar system upgrade installed on SSN 688, SSN 688I, SSN 21, SSN 774, SSGN, and SSBN 726-class submarines. A-RCI integrates and improves towed array, hull array, sphere array, and other ship sensor processing. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Underwater Camera for sale.

Photosea 100O Underwater Stills Camera System complete with strobe lights. Advertised as being the finest professional underwater photographic equipment available, and takes 35mm film for prints or slides. The system has been pressure tested to operate at depths of 3000 metres. Purchased in 2001 it has not been in the water, as the programme that the system was intended has not proceeded.


Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA -- For the first time since 1960, U.S. scientists will be able to explore the deepest parts of the world's oceans, up to 7 miles below the surface, with a novel underwater vehicle capable of performing multiple tasks in extreme conditions. Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution here are developing a battery-powered underwater robot to enable scientists to explore the ocean's most remote regions up to 11,000 meters deep. A spokeswoman said the hybrid HROV will be able to operate in two modes -- as an autonomous or free-swimming vehicle for wide area surveys, and as a tethered vehicle for close-up sampling and other tasks. In the latter mode, it will use a novel fiber-optic micro cable only one thirty-second of an inch thick, a significant departure from the large, heavy cables typically used with tethered vehicles. The deep-sea vehicle will require new technologies such as ceramic housings for cameras and other electronic equipment to withstand the pressures at the vehicle's extreme operating depths, she said. Funding for the four-year, $5-million HROV project is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation, with additional support from the U.S. Navy and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Principal investigators are Andrew Bowen and Dana Yoerger of WHOI's Deep Submergence Laboratory in the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department and Louis Whitcomb, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland). Whitcomb is also a visiting investigator in DSL. The new vehicle will undergo initial trails in three years.

Humans have been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench only once, in 1960, when the U.S. Navy bathyscaph Trieste descended with then Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard. The Japanese ROV Kaiko dove to the bottom of the trench in 1995. It was lost earlier this year and no operational vehicles currently exist that are capable of reaching this depth. "The HROV will enable, for the first time, routine scientific research in the deepest parts of the ocean, from 6,500 meters to 11,000 meters, a depth we currently cannot reach," says RAdm. Richard Pittenger, USN, Ret., and WHOI vice president for marine operations. "It will also afford access to other very hard-to-reach regions such as under the arctic ice cap. The Hero’s real-time, wide-band link to the surface will put the researcher in the loop to view, assess, and command the vehicle throughout the duration of dive missions. It is the first capable and cost-effective technology that will enable scientists to pursue research projects on a routine basis in areas they have long wanted to study but have been unable to reach. HROV technology will help answer many questions about the deep sea." More at


Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA -- The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar & Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany, recently took delivery of a 3,000m depth rated Bluefin21 AUV, which is the newest generation of Bluefin's AUV technology. Among other things, the vehicle will be used for scientific research near and under the polar ice caps where obstacle avoidance and highly accurate dead-reckoning navigation are crucial for vehicle operation. Bluefin is a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AUV Lab and has been manufacturing autonomous underwater vehicles and sub-sea batteries since 1997. Bluefin's current product line includes the Bluefin21, Bluefin12, and the Bluefin9, as well as pressure-tolerant batteries in 1 kilowatt-hour, 2 kilowatt-hour, and 3 kilowatt-hour sizes. The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar & Marine Research was established as a public foundation in 1980. It is a member of the Hermann von Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres and conducts research in the arctic, the Antarctic, and at temperate latitudes. It coordinates polar research in Germany and provides both the necessary equipment and the essential logistic back up for polar expeditions. More about the AUVs at


Washington, D.C., USA . Deep-diving manned submersibles, such as Alvin, which gained worldwide fame when researchers used it to reach the wreck of the HMS Titanic, have helped advance deep-ocean science. But many scholars in this field have noted that the number and capabilities of today's underwater vehicles no longer meet current scientific demands while others say the relative value of manned and unmanned vehicles is often disputed. A new report from the U.S. National Academies' National Research Council says new submersibles, both manned and unmanned, that are more capable than those in the current fleet are needed and would be of great value to the advancement of ocean research. The U.S. National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Science, a major funder of U.S. ocean research, asked the council to study the issue because of NSF's concerns about the current fleet's usefulness. The report, Future Needs in Deep Submergence Science: Occupied and Unoccupied Vehicles in Basic Ocean Research, notes that Alvin has been modified over the years to allow it to take a pilot and two scientists to depths of 4,500 meters. The report calls for a new and more capable manned vehicle that should provide the scientists onboard with improved visibility and achieve neutral buoyancy at various depths -- which Alvin has difficulty doing -- so that researchers can pause to study life forms that exist between the surface and the seafloor. A detailed engineering study also is needed to assess the costs and technical risks of extending the diving range of an upgraded manned vehicle to 6,500 meters. A new manned submersible could be built by 2006, the report says, but given the high demand for deep-diving research vehicles and for submersibles that can go deeper than 1500 meters, a new, more capable unmanned submersible should be built by 2004 or 2005. NSF's Division of Ocean Science has a budget of $25 million to upgrade the nation's fleet of deep-diving research submersibles. The report follows on the heels of an NRC report issued earlier this month that called for the construction of a number of new manned and unmanned deep-sea submersibles as part of a proposal for a large-scale ocean exploration program. The newest report will be available early next year from the National Academies Press. Contact the office on +1 (202) 334-3313 or on the Internet at


Yateley, Hampshire, U.K. -- A major operation to study the wreckage of a World War II German U-boat in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico has been supported with deep-water acoustic positioning equipment from Sonardyne International Ltd. here. The wreck was found by C&C Technologies Inc. surveyors during a pipeline route survey for Shell Exploration and BP Exploration in 2001. The company had been using an AUV when it came across wreckage in 5,000 feet of water that marine archaeologists suspected was the remains of U-166. This U-boat was responsible for torpedoing and sinking the passenger freighter SS Robert E Lee near New Orleans in July 1942 with many lives lost. In a joint venture with C&C, the Office of Ocean Exploration (U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the PAST Foundation, and the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the NOAA research vessel Ronald Brown was mobilized in October 2003 to carry out a comprehensive ROV survey of the U-166 site. A television crew also joined the expedition to film a documentary for the History Channel's Deep Sea Detectives which is expected to be broadcast in April 2004. For the project, a Sonsub Inc. (Houston, Texas) Innovator ROV was equipped with high-resolution camera equipment, scanning sonar, and a Sonardyne RovNav acoustic transceiver. Because of the water depth, a Sonardyne long baseline acoustic positioning system was chosen as the primary positioning solution. The ROVs first task was to deploy five Sonardyne Compatt transponders around the wreck site to create a navigation network in which the ROV an wreck could be positioned. A Sonardyne ultra-short baseline system was used to track the ROV on its descent to the bottom and to provide the ROV crew with the relative position of the vehicle tether management system.

During the five-day survey of the U-166, the team from C&C also successfully investigated the site of the Robert E. Lee, which lies within a mile of the submarine. The project now stands as the deepest archaeological study project ever undertaken in the Gulf of Mexico. The data and spectacular images that were collected will enable archaeologists to piece together a detailed record of these historic sites. The recent successful use of an LBL system on the important site of the Mary Rose warship in the U.K. is further confirmation that acoustic positioning systems can make a significant difference to the amount of archaeology that can be accomplished in a short time, whether in deep or shallow water.

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Silvercrest can provide the solution to all your submarine and submersible requirements (big or small). Contact us at anytime (24hours), to discuss submarine chartering, leasing, buying, and selling. Alternatively call us for a friendly chat, to discuss your proposed underwater project and ideas. We will always offer suggestions and advice.

European Office (England). Tel: (+44) 1285.760620. Fax: (+44) 1285.760620.