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Explore the deep oceans, diving in a submarine

The strict difference between a submersible and a submarine is that a submersible requires the support of a surface vessel, while a submarine can operate autonomously. The surface vessel provides a place for the submersible to be recharged and checked. During the dive, you will be working with a surface officer works to direct the dive, maintain safety oversight and who liaises with the ship’s captain to make sure that the surface vessel stays close (but not on top of!) the submersible. This also makes recovery easier.

Here you can see Shane Zigler, the Surface Officer for the submersibles. He defines the dive goals and itinerary, briefs the submersible pilots, goes through safety checks and tells them when it is time to ‘Dive! Dive! Dive!’.

This is the view of the submersible just before it is about to dive. With the submersible off the back deck you can see some of the features more clearly. It is already possible to see how the light decreases with depth and by the time you reach your survey site at depths down to 1,000 feet you will need lights to see the underwater environment.

Congratulations and welcome to the deep! This is the view from Nomad. The internal lights are turned off, so that it is easier to see through the pressure hull. The white slope of the seamount is visible in the submersible’s lights. During the dives, the team discovered an unknown deep sea algal forest and possibly some new species.

The second submersible, Nemo, is conducting a video survey of the seafloor. Through using this submersible technology, scientists are able to study this unexplored habitat.

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