Canada Border Services Agency has accepted shipment of an additional five Stingray remotely operated vehicle (ROV) systems from Benthos This follows rigorous acceptance testing.
The Stingray units have proven to be highly successful in finding and identifying objects attached to ships' hulls below the water line and will continue to be used by the Canada Border Services Agency in port and harbor security operations. The Stingray is an inspection class ROV well suited for these security applications. For example, Stingray can inspect the critical hull areas of a 600-foot long vessel in two to three hours.
Last June, a Stingray system was used to discover 83 kilograms attached to a ship's hull in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
A Stingray system was also used last December in New Brunswick, Canada to accomplish another large interception: 52 kilograms attached to the hull of a ship. The coal-carrying ship was targeted as needing inspection. A Stingray was dispatched with a small team of operators to conduct the search. An irregularity was discovered on the ship's hull and a RCMP diving team then quickly recovered two plastic bags in the sea chest below the water line.
According to an article published in the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal at the time of this seizure, a Canada Border Services agent was quoted as saying, "Prior to the ROVs, in order to search a vessel's hull, (we) had to have divers and that posed risks to human health and safety. These are enormous vessels and we wanted to make sure the divers are safe."
Stingray ROV systems are small lightweight vehicles designed to perform a variety of underwater missions. They are equipped with high-resolution video cameras, lights, and powerful thrusters that allow them to operate in hostile marine environments that could pose risks to divers. A single Stingray ROV system includes an underwater vehicle, a remote control operator handbox, a topside control console, a high-resolution video display, a tether with storage reel, and a launch and recovery system.
Benthos designs oceanographic products for underwater tasks.