On January 20 2011 when Professor Ed Hill, Executive Director NOC, issued a statement advising that Isis had been involved in a serious accident, my heart, along with the hearts of many, sank like a stone. I have loved this ROV for over five years, since I first saw the most amazing footage, captured by Isis , of animals living in hydrothermal vent fields in the deep ocean.
After the accident, there was an agony of waiting to see whether funding could be found to enable the team to put the ROV back together. Finally, and with huge thanks to the Natural Environment Research Council, NOC’s funding body, the team was given the green light to rebuild.
I had the privilege of filming the ROV team painstakingly rebuild Isis over a period of several months. Thanks to their skill and dedication, Isis has risen back to life, like a phoenix from the ashes, reconstructed from a frame of gory, twisted metal to her former glory.
|Isis is recovered to deck on the launch and recovery system (LARS)|
The trials cruise allowed the National Marine Facilities Sea Systems team to test the vehicle thoroughly to ensure that she is fit to undertake her next science mission in November. I wish the ROV team every success in the months ahead. No doubt there will be other challenges to face, however, as this crisis has shown, NOC engineers and technicians will meet these challenges head on so that the UK marine science community can continue to learn more about the amazing science of our blue planet.
|The ROV team:|
L - R, Duncan Matthew, Allan Davies, Will Handley, Russ Locke, Dave Turner, Andy Webb, James Cooper.
Jackie Pearson (in the middle - not Chris as on the helmet) was the cruise blogger.
A time lapse film was created to show the process of the rebuild of the ROV Isis. A camera, set up in the Deep Platforms Hangar, recorded images every 10 minutes of each working day. Over 3900 photographs were taken between February and July 2012 - not all were used in this film, the time lapse sequence of which lasts just over six and a half minutes. The film has a cool sound track courtesy of E-Z Rollers - thanks guys!