Search for underwater glider ends

August 15, 2012 - via Royal Gazette

The missing glider.

Research scientists abandoned their hunt for a missing glider yesterday, but local authorities continued to appeal to sailors to look out for it.

The six-foot-long piece of kit was spotted by fishermen at Challenger Banks on Sunday.  Fearing that it could be dangerous, they alerted Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre, who in turn alerted police and the US Coast Guard.

It later emerged that it was owned by scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts. They had been using the unmanned glider, which was submerged in the water, to collect data on microturbulance in the water column. However, they lost contact with it during a routine test deployment last week, indicating a problem with the on-board communication system.

A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, which was also involved in the project, said a team conducted a search for the glider on Monday. The search covered the area from Challenger Banks, which is 15 miles off Gibbs Hill Lighthouse on the South Shore, to Chub Head, which is 3.5 miles west of the west end of Bermuda. “With the region’s strong currents and deep waters, unfortunately it has not been located. We continue to ask that anyone who spots the equipment should contact Bermuda Radio on 297-1010 or via VHF radio channel 16,” said the spokeswoman.

She added that there is a WHOI identification sticker on the topside of the glider.

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Author:Elizabeth Roberts

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