Magazine article Oceanus

Bringing Alvin Back on Board: 'SWIMMERS' ARE KEY LINKS BETWEEN SUB AND SHIP

Magazine article Oceanus

Bringing Alvin Back on Board: 'SWIMMERS' ARE KEY LINKS BETWEEN SUB AND SHIP

Article excerpt

1 Some crew members of Atlantis are trained to be 'swimmers,' who assist in recovering Alvin. They ride a small boat to meet Alvin when it surfaces. They take a sound-powered phone, two safety lines to secure Alvin's front basket, and a yellow sea anchor. The boat stands by.

2 A swimmer carries the phone, which cannot get wet, and plugs it into a jack inside Alvin's red-orange sail to talk with the pilot in the sealed sphere below. The swimmer directs the pilot to steer toward the ship, gets information about items on the basket that might need special handling, and-perhaps-communicates what's on the dinner menu.

3 The swimmers attach two safety lines to rings high on Alvin's face and carabiners on the front of the payload basket. The lines are needed to support the heavy basket when it is out of the water. …

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