Using their Deep Ocean Engineering Triggerfish T4H ROV, Carter County Emergency & Rescue Squad located and retrieved a fishermen
Using their Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc. Triggerfish T4H Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), Carter County, TN Emergency & Rescue Squad located and retrieved a fishermen from Roane Mountain, Tn., who went missing after his boat apparently collided with an island on Watauga Lake just upstream of Fish Springs Marina. The fishermen's boat was found unmanned on Sunday morning and that afternoon at 5:12pm, the Carter County ERS located the body and recovered it to the shore within the 16mile long, 10mi2 lake.
The 29 Member team of Carter County Emergency & Rescue Squad (CCERS), headquartered in Elizabethtown, TN, specialize both in terrestrial and marine, rescue and recovery. To complement and enhance their marine search and recovery efforts, which already include marine sonic technology, a side scan sonar and a dive team, CCERS selected the Deep Ocean Engineering Triggerfish T4H outfitted with the Kongsberg MS1171 "minihead," mechanical scanning Sonar. After taking delivery, the squad used this vehicle numerous times to search for missing persons or objects of interest in manym local lakes such as Lake Wautauga, Norris, South Holston, Boon and the Nolichucky River.
The Triggerfish T4H consists of 4 high performance thrusters that provide 42 lbs of forward thrust and two "vertrans" thrusters that provide 24 lbs of vertical and lateral thrust with a Deep Ocean Engineering camera on a 180° tilting mount. The horizontal thrust can be doubled with a "Power Pack" add-on of two more horizontal thrusters. In addition to the base vehicle configuration, there are options for the ROV to be equipped with a Tritech™ MicronNav USBL Tracking System, a BluView™ Dual Frequency Sonar, LED Lights from DeepSea Power & Light, a rear facing black and white DeepSea Power and Light Multi-SeaCam®, a Deep Ocean Engineering single function manipulator/cutter, and a whole suite of other 3rd party sensors.
Carter County's Triggerfish is typically stored on and deployed from a dedicated 32' pontoon boat which draws 2 feet of water and comfortably supports 4 team members. Anthony Roberts, Deputy Director of CCERS is one of 3 ROV pilots of the 6 person ROV operations team, and often deploys when the ROV is called upon. Since the spring of 2011 Anthony reports that CCERS has logged 800+ hours of ROV/Sonar training with a goal of deploying 3X per month.
In addition to body search/recovery tasks which can coincide with murder investigations or like in this case, a recreational boating accident, the CCERS have found pickup trucks/cars, truck beds, a coke machine, safes, cash registers, boats, Christmas trees, bicycles, lawn furniture and even a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer. In the bulldozer incident, it was stolen, run off a cliff and settled in 126 feet of water still chained to the trailer. CCERS team members located and recovered the air intake with the ROV.
In a previous murder investigation, the Triggerfish T4H was used for 89 hours to scan and clear over 4.5 acres of the deeper portions of Norris Lake. The deeper, less accessible parts of the lake that would have required more effort to search with towed divers, was cleared and this opened up shallower shoreline areas for search and rescue teams. The SAR team eventually found the body in the near shore area but it was attributed to the effort put forth by the ROV and its team to focus efforts along the shoreline. The Triggerfish ROV proves to be a valuable tool for emergency response and object recovery teams.
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