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R/V Western Flyer leaves for repairs

July 10, 1998

The R/V Western Flyer, owned and operated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), will be in dry dock for repairs beginning July 1998. From the R/V Western Flyer, MBARI operates the remotely operated vehicle Tiburon to explore the deep sea to 4000-m depths. During the repair period, the ROV Tiburon and its control room have been relocated to MBARI’s test-tank area in Moss Landing for upgrades, continued engineering testing, and pilot training.

The repairs to the R/V Western Flyer were necessitated with the discovery of cracks at the intersection of the struts with the haunches that developed during an early science expedition. Subsequent design reviews by naval architects and the American Bureau of Shipping confirmed that the vessel had been under-designed for the sea conditions routinely encountered in the Monterey Bay region. Concerns about the ship’s safety limited operations for much of 1997.

The R/V Western Flyer is scheduled to arrive at the Bay Ship and Yacht Company shipyard in Alameda on Monday, July 13, 1998. Repairs and upgrades to the R/V Western Flyer will include hull modifications, noise reduction, increased fuel capacity, and air-conditioning/cooling upgrades.

We look forward to the return of the R/V Western Flyer in the summer of 1999 after which time it will be re-outfitted with the ROV Tiburon, control room, and other equipment. The ship is expected to be fully operational with the ROV Tiburon for scientific missions by the fall of 1999.

Contact: Debbie Meyer, Communications Coordinator