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SEAMOR Marine's Chinook ROV helps locate downed cargo jet off Hawaii

1st September 2021

Forward fuselage of the 737 found on the seabed

A SEAMOR Marine, Canada, Chinook ROV has been used by Honolulu, Hawaii-based Sea Engineering to help locate and survey a downed Boeing 737 cargo plane.


The plane crashed shortly after takeoff about two miles (3.2 kilometres) offshore from Ewa Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, and sank to the seafloor at a depth of 350 to 450 feet (107 to 137 metres) – a depth too dangerous for divers to navigate. The only two passengers onboard Transair flight 810, both pilots, were rescued by helicopter.


“We’re proud of the seasoned Sea Engineering crew that was able to safely and efficiently take on this mission and locate the wreckage within a week of the US National Transportation Safety Board arriving in Honolulu,” said Robin Li, president of SEAMOR Marine. “Our Chinook ROV’s rugged design and powerful thrusters are made for depths and harsh sea conditions like these. The main standard-definition camera, with 180-degree rotation and 30x zoom capability, brought the submerged aircraft clearly into focus with exceptional detail.”


Sea Engineering used its 43-foot (13-metre) workboat, the Huki Pono, for the ROV operations to locate and survey the wreckage, which included the plane’s wings and tail, both engines, and forward fuselage.


“Our team was able to mobilise the ROV onto our vessel within one day of ‘Notice to Proceed.’ The SEAMOR Chinook played a key role in our ability to locate and survey the plane, at a final depth of 350 to 450 feet below the surface,” said Andrew Rocheleau, president at Sea Engineering.


As the investigative team develops plans to recover the aircraft and its flight data and cockpit voice recorders, the Chinook ROV will play a critical role.


“The Chinook continues to be dependable, fast to mobilise and produces quality data for all of our projects in the Pacific region – from wave energy to the offshore oil and gas, geophysical surveys and marine pollution, and emergency salvage and response,” said Rocheleau.

  • SEAMOR Chinook used to locate the wreckage

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