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Case Study: RCMP Underwater Recovery with SEAMOR ROV

SEAMOR Marine's Chinook ROV was utilized for accident victim recovery by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's (RCMP) National Underwater Recovery Training Centre after a failed attempt from another ROV Feature Article by SEAMOR Marine
Case Study: RCMP's Deepest Underwater Recovery with SEAMOR ROV
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In this case study, SEAMOR Marine discusses how its Chinook ROV and Canada’s elite national police diver training team from the National Underwater Recovery Training Centre accomplished a historic feat north of the Arctic Circle – making the RCMP’s deepest successful recovery of an accident victim at a depth of 160m under the ice. Read more > >

At Bathurst Inlet in Western Nunavut in January 2022, a worker died in an accident while working on the Back River gold mining project. It happened when his bulldozer, which was working on widening a 170km ice road from the port facility to the Goose project site, fell through the ice about 6km outside the port. The area is about 400km from Cambridge Bay. The bulldozer came to rest at a depth of 160m under the ice, a depth completely inaccessible to police dive teams and in extremely challenging Arctic conditions.

The closest police team to the site arrived with their underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and reached the target but were unable to open the door. Unfortunately, during their attempt the ROV became irretrievably caught up in 3/8th inch Polysteel line. That’s when they knew they had to call in the experts at the National Underwater Training and Recovery Centre (NURTC).

Upon receiving the call, Sgt. G.E. (Jay) White and his team, Corporals Todd Kaufmann and Steve Wells began planning their mission to deploy their SEAMOR Chinook ROV, right down to the smallest possible detail. Practice, planning and preparation proved critical ahead of this challenging Arctic mission. Before departing for the Arctic, the team suspended the Chinook ROV in the air and rehearsed opening a bulldozer door of similar type.

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For this Arctic mission, the team elected to integrate its 5-function Alpha Arm, the world’s leading electronic arm for observation class ROVs.

The mission’s first objective was to clear the underwater area and safely extract the trapped ROV from its predicament, removing an obstacle and potential hazard, which also gave the team a chance to acclimate to the environment. This was successfully accomplished on the first day of the mission with the help of a rope cutting jaw attachment to cut through the tough Polysteel line.

The next stage was by far the most critical of the mission. The ROV would need to hold fast to the grab handle of the bulldozer while simultaneously using the second arm to manipulate the door handle down 90 degrees. This was the point where the other ROV had failed. Once the door was open, it would be possible to retrieve the victim’s body. The mission was accomplished on the second day.

Read the full article on SEAMOR Marine’s website.

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