A recovery operation with a ROV requires a lot of preparation in advance. The last thing you want is to run into a snafu while trying to get the sub in the water or when it’s submerged. Here is a quick rundown of 11 prep tips to consider:

  • All personnel involved in the recovery operation should be properly trained and understand the potential risks of the operation.
  • Conduct a briefing with everyone involved before starting the operation. Some suggested topics to cover include:

         o The plan for the operation.
         o Communications and responsibilities.
         o Weather and water conditions.
         o Timeline for the operation.
         o Backup plans.

  • All participants should wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) when working on the water.
  • Familiarize yourself with the boat you’re on and be aware of any operational “quirks.”
  • Secure items on dock/deck.
  • Keep the worksite organized and safe from self-created hazards.
  • Use lock-out, tag-out procedures when needed.
  • Know your load before beginning a recovery operation and take the appropriate steps to deal with it. There are four basic loads:

        o Static load is the stationary hanging weight of a load.
        o Dynamic loading is a load that changes its weight during the recovery
        o Shock loading is a condition that occurs when velocity (acceleration)
           is added to the mass of an object.
        o Friction loading is when additional load is added by the object being
           lifted and coming in contact with another surface or material.

  • Check your ROV’s physical status for any deteriorating or loose parts as well as all connections. Replace defective parts if necessary.
  • Check the tether and control panel to ensure both are in good working order.
  • Don’t be afraid to call off an operation if the risks exceed an acceptable threshold.
Before embarking on a recovery, it’s important to assemble a qualified team and prep it for the assignment. Photo courtesy of HEART.