Antarctic diving team

During the Tango 1 expedition, an important part of the projects relies on samples and data collected by SCUBA divers. Our diving team is composed of Francesca (UGent), Martin (ULiège), Lea and Camille (ULB).

Antarctic waters are a first for all members but Francesca, and previous training was an important part in the planning of the expedition. First, all divers needed to obtain a European Scientific Diver certification to be able to carry on research underwater. The team then trained in Belgium using the same tools they would use here, around the Antarctic Peninsula.

Diving in Antarctica mainly requires the ability to cope with freezing-cold water. For this, the dry suit is a must and is completed by multiple layers of thermal underwear and warming equipment. Luckily, Belgian weather can offer extreme diving conditions, with quarries and lakes reaching down to 4°C during the winter. Our team was therefore well prepared and did not suffer from more than a few cold fingers.

On-site they collect specimens, sediments cores along with pictures and videos to document the expedition.

Team ROV is ready to go!

After a full year of training, I am very excited to bring the ROV to Antarctica and finally explore the Southern Ocean seafloor.

The BlueROV2, equipped with a GoPro HERO 10 – Quarry of Barges

When buying the BlueROV2 last year, we had no idea how much technical problems we would encounter. After 3 pool sessions (thanks to the David Lloyd and our dear Fabienne), multiple sessions in the “Vrouwenpolder” and the “Spuikom” (with thanks to Watersport Ostende Spuikom), a trip to Chile, another to Corsica and a final dive in the quarry of Barges, I think we pretty much discovered all possible problems and fixed them, learned about best practices and of course the importance of making check-lists (and reading them before departure…).

Let’s hope everything goes well once we’re there!


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