E/V Nautilus Starts To Search For The Shot Down Turkish Plane
2 Jul 2012 1 Comment
This was rumored repeatedly last week but now it is official. E/V Nautilus is helping Turkish Navy to locate and inspect the wreckage of RF-4ETM, shoot down by Syria.
The ship was in Istanbul for the preparations of her 2012 expedition to explore the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea off the coasts of Turkey and Cyprus.
She has departure from Istanbul on 29th June 2012 . Currently she is about to arrive at the crash location and start her mission. What makes this62 meters long research vessel special and unique is the state-of-the-art exploration and telepresence technology has has on board. The primary remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) on board, named Hercules and Argus, are used to view the seafloor with high definition video, take environmental measurements and collect geological and biological samples. The two secondary exploration tools, the towfish named Diana and Echo, are used to utilize side-scan and subbottom sonar technology to explore the seafloor and seek out compelling targets for closer investigation and study. Once her side-scan sonars have precisely located the wreck of the plane the ROV will allow us to see the plane and help us to understand how it was hoot down and most importantly if the pilots are still in the wreckage or not.
According to news there will be 4 Turkish naval officers on board during the mission and six warships plus three helicopters will support and protect the E/V Nautilus.
As the wreckage is inside the Syrian territorial waters and as the most of the E/V Nautilus‘ crew most notably Dr. Robert Ballard is from USA, I guess that some kind of a deal must have been struck between Turkey, Syria and USA for this mission.
Here is a video showing E/V Nautilus off the coast of Bodrum on Sunday morning, picking up some crew members transferred by a Turkish Coast Guard vessel. The frigate TCG Gelibolu and the fact attack craft TCG Karayel can also be seen.