Search & Recovery
Lost that shiny new gizmo? Need an anchor retrieved? We can certainly help you with that.
Anytime someone drops or loses an object in a body of water that is too deep to 'just walk in and grab it', the question comes up: how am I going to get that? Fear not, our expert Divers and Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) operators can help in both finding and retrieving your objects.
Depending on the environment (clear or murky water, boat traffic, etc.) we will deploy a diver or submersible vehicle to find and retrieve the object, using lift bags, boat or vehicle mounted winches or any other applicable method. If the object is metallic, we can use underwater metal detectors to determine the location (if it isn't immediately visible, for example if the bottom is silty) or use visual search patterns to find the object in question.
Retrieval will depend on the type of object, specifically whether there are ways to attach a lifting device, and of course its weight. Generally, lifting objects up to about 500 lbs can be done using conventional methods, heavier objects will require additional planning and perhaps a crane or other machine.
In the special case where we may need to recover a sunk ship or similar, we can employ different lifting methods in parallel to overcome otherwise restrictive weight limits.
The term 'Inspection' can mean a number of things, and usually, the client will either have a very specific or
very vague idea of what this should consist of.
In some cases, this may be the inspection of a (drinking) water storage tank where the primary objective is to make sure there are no visible cracks, deteriorating structural components or excessive deposit of sediment. We can also provide coating thickness (on Steel or Aluminum) measurement.
Other times, there may be a body of water with an unknown (but to be determined) bottom depth/composition/shape. There may also be structures or objects located in the water that are to be determined, either just visually catalogued or more detailed, CAD capable models generated that can be used for further planning and/or other project steps. We continuously add new capabilities, so if you have a specific goal in mind, ask us and we can discuss options.
Whatever the end goal of your 'inspection' is, we can provide a way to achieve your goals. If we do not have experience with the specific inspection method, we will either obtain the necessary equipment/certification or sub-contract and act as your local project manager.
In-Water Maintenance can take on many forms. The most common that we experience are:
- Cleaning (and repairing) of Boat Hulls
- Cleaning (and repairing) of Tiles & Drains in Pools
- Inspection, Sediment removal in drinking water storage tanks
The approach taken will depend on the situation, but generally involves either a diver or submersible vehicle to be deployed that then takes care of the maintenance. For pools, this is usually just a diver with a scuba tank, mask and (sometimes) fins. In drinking water systems, the preferred option is to use a specialized submersible vehicle that contains a (vacuum-like) suction device. It is possible to also use personnel (in a dry suit) for this purpose, but in either case, anything going into the drinking water tank will be sterilized using a chlorine solution.
We have all kinds of equipment that you will never hear about, but here are a few of the highlights that you may see in operation on your project:
Submersible / Unmanned Underwater Vehicle
We use a modified submersible vehicle for inspection, cleaning and sonar/visual mapping. We can outfit the unit with a
number of different tools to fit the project and are always expanding the tools that we can attach.
With a maximum depth rating of over 300 feet, this allows inspections and retrievals in areas that are difficult to reach by personnel. With the ability to use sector sweeping sonar, we can generate 3D point cloud data of underwater environments that can optionally be overlaid with color images (texturing - if visibility allows) to generate an immersive 3D environment (conversion to an immersive Virtual Reality environment is something we are considering offering as a standard in the future - ask if this is of interest to you). For localized and small, very detailed images, we can also generate photogrametry from 4K video. Ask for details.
When used in a drinking water tank cleaning project, the entire unit is submersed in a chlorine disinfecting solution prior to use and an attachment is used to remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.
Search & Mapping
We use a side scanning (CHIRP) sonar to map the bottom of any unknown body of water prior to entering so that we have an idea of what we will encounter. The same approach is used to detect reasonably large objects that we are to retrieve unless the location is obvious and any possible hazards can be clearly seen.
Any time there is a body of water involved that is larger than can reasonably be expected to swim across or when retrieval of larger objects is expected, we use an inflatable pontoon boat to act both as a search platform as well as a diver and winch base (or operating base for the submersible). This platform provides several benefits over other options: it is highly customizable for the specific job and has the ability to be separated into separate components so that it can be carried to and from the water which allows it to be used in bodies of water that do not have a boat ramp (such as agricultural water storage fields or private property ponds).
With access to a dedicated engineering and prototyping shop, we can take on a number of tasks that don't fall in the 'done it before' category. If you feel that we might be the right company to work on that special project, please do reach out and ask us. We'll give you a straight answer and provide our insights into how it could be completed... even if not by us!
Jobs we generally don't do...
Every company has things they stay away from and we are no different. In general, we stay away from 'hard helmet' type projects, those that involve underwater demolition or construction. There are simply too few of these tasks in our immediate location to keep divers with those skills (and certifications) consistently employed. That being said, if there is a mix of project tasks (for example inspection and if necessary, repair that involves welding), we can take on the tasks that we do offer and act as local project managers for companies that can handle the other tasks.