The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Jan/Feb 2018


Cable maintenance contract extended

Global Marine's 'Cable Retriever'

UK-based Global Marine has announced its maintenance contract with SEAIOCMA (South East Asia and Indian Ocean Cable Maintenance Agreement) has been extended for five-years, running to the end of 2022.

The SEAIOCMA maintenance zone agreement, which is a co-operative club managed by 46 cable owners, provides the repair of submarine cables that carry international telecommunications traffic. SEAIOCMA spans the area between Djibouti in the west, Perth in the south, Guam in the east and the northern tip of Taiwan.

Under the terms of the extended contract, which came into effect on 1 January 2018 and expires on 31 December 2022, Global Marine will provide a newly constructed depot in Subic Bay, Philippines. The new depot will continue to serve as the base of Global Marine’s vessel the Cable Retriever, a purpose-designed cable ship equipped with a 600-horsepower ROV capable of burying cable up to three metres below the seabed and mobilising within 24 hours of a call-out.

Global Marine has been providing maintenance services continuously to SEAIOCMA since its inception in 1986 and has completed more than 600 repairs. During that time the network has expanded from 34,000 kilometres of cable maintained to encompass more than 111,000 kilometres.

“There is no greater endorsement of your success than a contract extension from an existing customer,” said Bruce Neilson-Watts, managing director of Global Marine. “SEAIOCMA has again placed confidence in our capabilities, primarily because we provide certainty and minimise disruption. Over our long and successful history, Global Marine has proved time and time again that we are both resilient and flexible enough to provide new solutions that aid future market development.”


Deep BV takes delivery of Sonardyne positioning kit to support UXO surveys
  • WSM 6+ transponder mounted on Deep BV's 'Iron Lady' ROTV

Deep BV, a Dutch survey company specialising in hydrography, marine geophysics and oceanography, has purchased underwater acoustic technology supplied by Sonardyne International, UK, to support its inshore, harbour, coastal and offshore activities.  

“The two Mini-Ranger 2 ultra-short baseline tracking systems and WSM 6+ mini transponders were delivered to Deep BV’s headquarters in Amsterdam within days of the order being placed and put straight to work during an operation to search for unexploded ordnance (UXO),” said Sonardyne.  

The company added: “Mini-Ranger 2 boasts a number of features that makes it ideal for underwater operations such as UXO surveys which require high-accuracy positioning but without the cost and complexity associated with a deepwater USBL solution. It can simultaneously track 10 targets at very fast update rates, it is quick to install on small vessels and has a tracking range of 995 metres, extendable to 4000 metres.”  

For its first project with Mini-Ranger 2, Deep BV installed one of the systems on board its 15-metre, twin hull research vessel Deep Volans, and configured it to track a WSM 6+ transponder mounted on a remotely operated towed vehicle named Iron Lady. Accurate positioning is paramount for the Iron Lady’s control software in order to ‘fly’ the six-metre wide gradiometer UXO set-up just two metres above the seabed. 

Klaas Visser, chief technology expert at Deep BV, said: “We’ve been a user of Sonardyne’s pre-generation Scout USBL system for several years and have been pleased with the results it’s delivered. However, now was the right time to replace these systems and upgrade to Sonardyne’s 6G product family with all of its attractive features and performance gains.”

OSIL Multiple Corer for XMU

UK-based seabed sampling specialist Ocean Scientific International Ltd (OSIL) reports it has delivered a 12-station Multiple Corer to XMU University in China.

The hydrostatically damped Multi Corer is capable of collecting up to 12 samples simultaneously, which include a high-quality sediment sample and the overlying supernatant water.

“The well-preserved samples consistently retrieved by users ensures that the OSIL Multiple Corers enjoy a privileged position as the primary corers for environmental impact assessment worldwide, and are universally acknowledged as being the only way of reliably collecting a truly undisturbed sediment sample from the seabed,” said a spokesman.

The corer is constructed from stainless steel and features detachable core assemblies, which enables the core tubes (or if necessary the entire core tube assembly) to be removed from the corer for analysis or storage. “The core tubes are sealed top and bottom once the sample has been taken, allowing rapid retrieval of the corer without jeopardising sample integrity,” the spokesman explained.

The corers are available in a 600-millimetre or 800-millimetre length core tube specification.





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