Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

ROV dives deep to find valuables


If you’ve dropped something of great value off the side of your boat, or need to take a close look at an object underwater, Tod Sebens may be able to help out.

The Haines-based tour boat operator recently purchased a Fisher ROV, a remotely operated underwater vehicle equipped with sonar and a mechanical arm. The side scan sonar produces detailed images regardless of water quality, according to Sebens. It works to 1,000 feet.

The device could create video of a sunken boat or even pull a body up from a depth of 200 feet, Sebens said.

Deploying the device isn’t cheap. Sebens said using the machine for something like a lost wristwatch would be prohibitively expensive. “Unless it’s a diamond-studded watch.”

He expects to market the service throughout the state. An example of a potential customer might be a recent incident where a $28,000 propeller fell off a tugboat. Clients might include those doing inspections of docks, dams, pipelines, sea walls, and other under water structures.

He expects there may be some business as well working for law-enforcement agencies for criminal evidence ditched in water bodies. In certain conditions, the vehicle will also work in rivers, Sebens said.


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