Terrace Search and Rescue buys new underwater searching device

Northwestern B.C. search team can now search depths of 300m underwater and is looking to get its final piece of equipment by summer

Terrace Search and Rescue's new underwater remote operated vehicle at Lakelse Lake.

Terrace Search and Rescue (SAR) welcomed its new underwater device that can help members look around bodies of water down to depths of 300m (1,000 ft).

Four SAR team members recently participated in a two-day training session at Seamor Marine Ltd. in Nanaimo, B.C. before taking possession of the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).

Seamor Marine has a well-earned reputation as the progressive designer and manufacturer of the subsea Seamor family of Observation/Inspection-class Remotely Operated Vehicles, and related modular accessories and devices.

The four Seamor trained members now train other SAR members how to operate the ROV.

Pool training sessions allow team members to become familiar with the controls, setup and take down of the system.

During a pool session in Terrace, team members navigated the ROV through an obstacle course and manipulated the gripper to pick up items off the pool bottom.

It is equipped with a high resolution colour zoom camera, lights that tilt with the camera, a rear looking camera, gripper and/or cutter.

The complete system is transported in four pelican watertight boxes.

The complete cost of the unit plus the on-board SONAR was $82,352.

The Terrace Rotary Club donated $10,000 towards the SONAR.

Trans Canada donated $15,000 towards the ROV; the remaining $57,352 was contributed by Terrace SAR.

Seamor Marine also gave the team a 10 per cent discount, which was greatly appreciated.

The Terrace SAR funds represented years of savings for the non-profit team.

The team has one final goal to complete their underwater search and rescue program: it needs to purchase a tow fish type SONAR which is required to search large areas underwater.

The tow fish will also be able to search depths further than the team’s current ability of 150 feet.

The towfish can search depths greater than 300 feet.

The members hope to raise the funds before summer so they can continue search efforts in B.C. A tow fish type SONAR cost between $20,000-40,000 depending on which model the team chooses to purchase.