Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Operations
Vessels and Vehicles - R/V Paragon

Long Range AUVs on Research Vessel Paragon

Three long-range AUVs are ready for deployment onboard the R/V Paragon

R/V Paragon History

R/V Paragon was purchased from a commercial urchin diver in Oxnard, CA in 2001 by the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).  PISCO repowered and customized the vessel for near shore scientific scuba diving and oceanographic research.  For ten years it served as a research platform for kelp forest monitoring and process studies, oceanography, and education.  In 2012, Dr. Mark Carr of PISCO-UCSC offered to lease the R/V Paragon to MBARI for a minimum of one year.  UCSC retains ownership of the vessel during this period and MBARI is responsible for its operation and upkeep.  R/V Paragon offers a unique opportunity for MBARI researchers to access near coastal waters reliably, quickly, and inexpensively.

Cruise Plan, Float Plan and Sign Up Procedure

  1. MBARI employees may check for vessel availability on the ship’s calendar in Zimbra. Only DMO administration and Figurski can edit the Zimbra Paragon calendar.
  2. A pre-cruise plan must be submitted. Plan must identify a captain and a shore contact. Current authorized operators are: Coenen, Figurski, Fitzgerald, Haddock, Hobson, Kieft, Massion, Rienecker, and Wahl. Contact Steve Etchemendy with any operator questions or comments.
  3. The max load is 8 people.
  4. Any participants that are not MBARI staff must sign the Visiting Participants Release Form. This is an absolute requirement and violations may result in revocation of the operator’s status as a Paragon Captain.
  5. Cruises that exceed the allowable area, or time of operation (see section V of Operator manual link below) require special permission from the Division of Marine Operations (DMO).
  6. Captains are required to complete a float plan on the day of operations and leave it in the box on the dock house. Float plan must indicate date, time of departure, time of return, operator, crew, Visiting Participant’s Release Forms, on-board cell phone and shore contact information. Float plan forms are available on the R/V Paragon website and on the vessel.

To avoid delays, it is recommended that a pre-cruise plan be submitted five business days in advance of the cruise.  For cruises that require special permissions, it is recommended that the pre-cruise plan be submitted 15 business days in advance. 


Policies and operating guidelines

Emergencies and contacts

Operator manual (pdf) Updated April, 2014

Float plan form

Onboard Paragon Cruise Log template


Last updated: Sep. 28, 2015