Coast Guard to launch underwater camera system to gather Patriot images

BOSTON – The Coast Guard announced today that it will use remotely operated vehicle technology to capture underwater images of the fishing vessel Patriot, which sank off Gloucester, Mass., Jan. 3.

Investigators believe deploying one or more of the remotely operated vehicles that can be equipped with cameras and side-scan sonar will provide a clearer image of the Patriot, and may help the Coast Guard determine what caused the boat to sink.

Sonar technology from the Massachusetts State Police, in coordination with Coast Guard Sector Boston, was used Jan. 16 to determine the precise coordinates of where the Patriot rests on the sea floor. However, the image generated from the sonar was not clear enough to show, in detail, the vessel’s orientation or provide any indication as to the cause of the sinking.

Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Boston, with possible assistance from a second team from Seattle, will conduct the survey of the Patriot.

Sector Boston is monitoring the weather closely to identify a three-day period when the sea state, such as wave height, winds and currents, is conducive to safely and effectively operate the remotely operated vehicles. The schedule and detail for the underwater survey of the Patriot could change due to weather and operational considerations.

One Coast Guard cutter will be tasked to serve as a work platform for the operation.

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