Assistance from the Norwegian air force

One of the Orion-planes from the 333 Squadron of the Norwegian air force carried out an unusual mission Wednesday July 21. They assisted MAR-ECO by flying out six canisters with necessary equipment to a remotedly operated vehicle (ROV) on RV G. O. Sars, which at this point had reached the Carlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone in the northern mid-Atlantic.

It was crisis onboard when the deepest diving submersible ROV Bathysaurus failed after only a couple of successful dives. Spare parts from land was necessary to get it repaired onboard. The sollution was to ask the Norwegian air force for assistance.

The equipment arrived at Andøya on the evening of July 19. Approximately 19 kg of equipment was packed in canisters. These was painted orange to ease the detection.

A P3C Orion took off from Andøya at 07:00 Hrs, July 21. At 13:30 Hrs they reached RV G.O. Sars in the Atlantic ocean west of Ireland (N 51o 32’, W 30 o 59’). A perfect drop was performed, as six bright orange canisters were delivered, just off the stern, one by one.

The international crew onboard RV G.O. Sars was impressed by the precission of the pilots. The assistance from the 333 Squadron of the Norwegian air force is invaluable and means that RV G.O. Sars can continue the research with the ROV Bathysaurus after the reperations. As co-ordinators of the MAR-ECO cruise, Institute of Marine Research and the University of Bergen are grateful for the cooperation with the
Norwegian air force.