16/07/01 - Day 15
Meet the survey team
Rob White reports
While the Northern Horizon sails north to the Hood's search area, Rob White continues his look at the team that make this extraordinary expedition possible.
JIM MERCER is an experienced hand at this kind of an operation - he's a key figure
at Blue Water Recoveries, who range the world's oceans on every kind of deepsea
work: from cable surveys to salvage, and, of course wreck finding.
On this voyage he's our electronic systems superintendent - tasked to make sure all the complicated systems we're using work together. He's also a key figure when the ROV and the sidescan sonar are at depth, working closely with Search Director David Mearns.
Without CHRIS JONES we wouldn't know where we were - literally. He's our navigator.
When the ROV and the sidescan sonar are deployed, it's his job to make sure we get to the right place and stay there. This also enables us to make the best use of our time; vitally important, as wind and weather can overturn the best-laid plans when you're at sea.
Chris works for Thales Geosolutions, whose speciality is navigation and discovery in the most difficult parts of the earth - and the "inner space" of the sea.
WILL HANDLEY is our camera specialist. When Chris has got us to where we need to be (and
is keeping us there) Will's job is to make sure we can SEE where we are.
There are four cameras on the ROV - two colour and one black and white video, plus a digital stills camera. The depressor also has a low-light black and white video. The 'Magellan' ROV carries a powerful lighting system too - there's no light at all in the depths we're working.
Will maintains the system, and operates the cameras during the dive. Definitely another guy to treat with consideration and respect - without him, no movie!
Just a day away now from the 'Hood' wreck site - stand by Jim, Chris and Will.