“A sonar can be placed underneath, but in Giglio they did not need it since the water is so clear,” Bentley said.
Among various tasks, these ROVs entered the Concordia's dangerous engine room, established the condition of pollution at each level of the ship, and explored the rusting hull inch by inch.
“They minimized risk to divers during the salvage operation in challenging conditions,” Bentley said.
Every day since the beginning of the removal project, VideoRays have been starting their mission by going to the exact underwater location where a job has to be done. The diver then follows the tether. When he reaches the spot, the ROV lights can be turned up to illuminate the scene.
“The diver supervisor has two views, one is the helmet camera worn by the diver, the other is the view from the VideoRay. This is useful as the supervisor gets a wider view and can tell the diver where to go,” Bentley said.
During the full refloating and the following towing operation, all VideoRays will be active monitoring the underwater condition.
Until last week, technicians from Titan, the marine salvage company in charge of the Costa Concordia project, could rely on a fleet of seven VideoRay ROVs.
On Monday, during the first day of the refloating operations, one was lost beneath the ship.
“It was a $25,000 investment, but if a diver had been hurt or killed it would have been much worse,” Bentley said.
VideoRay ROVs will possibly continue to work on Giglio even after the wreck is removed. They will be employed in the search for the last victim, whose remains have never been found, and will monitor the cleaning operations which will follow the Costa Concordia removal.