As Ocean Infinity embarks on its journey towards a carbon neutral future and anticipates the arrival of its uncrewed Armada fleet of vessels, it bids farewell to some of its original fleet. The Pacific Constructor has been part of Ocean Infinity’s story since the beginning and has been instrumental in many of its most ambitious and exciting projects.
Locating Stellar Daisy
Stellar Daisy sank on 31 March 2017, transporting iron ore from Brazil to China. Tragically, 22 of the 24 crew were lost. Working from Pacific Constructor, the search operation involved the deployment of four AUVs, which, over 72 search hours, explored approximately 1,300 km2 of seabed.
Representatives from The Government of South Korea and the families of Stellar Daisy’s crew, were present throughout the operation. The South Korean tanker was located at a depth of 3,461 metres in the South Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1,800 nautical miles due west of Cape Town.
In addition to these and several other search projects, Pacific Constructor has been involved in a number of other commercial survey projects including hydrographic surveys for pre-construction site characterisation surveys.
In January 2018, under contract to the Malaysian Government, Ocean Infinity undertook a 90-day survey campaign to find the wreckage of the of the Malaysia Airlines flight 370 that disappeared in March 2014.
The survey equipment deployed from Pacific Constructor covered 125,000km2 of seabed in 138 days. Other survey vessels covered the same area in 837 days. Ocean Infinity’s ability to operate at an unprecedented speed and scale also saw a significant reduction in carbon emissions and fuel consumption. Ocean Infinity used 80% less fuel and emitted 72% less CO2 that an average survey vessel did during this search. Sadly, the aircraft remains missing.
Finding ARA San Juan
In November 2018 after two months of searching, Ocean Infinity located the wreckage of the ARA San Juan approximately 600 km east of Comodoro Rivadavia in the Atlantic Ocean. The Argentine submarine was lost on 15 November 2017.
The search was carried out by five Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) deployed from Pacific Constructor. Three officers of the Argentine Navy and four family members of the crew of the ARA San Juan were onboard Pacific Constructor to observe the search operation.
In anticipation of the arrival of the Armada fleet, Ocean Infinity is also bidding farewell the Normand Frontier vessel which has embarked on a long term construction support project supported by Ocean Infinity personnel and two of the company’s ROVs.
Island Pride, equipped with 6 AUVs and 2 ROVs, will remain part of Ocean Infinity’s fleet throughout the phased Armada introduction to enable the company to continue providing services to its global customer base.
The first phase of the uncrewed Armada fleet, announced in February 2020, will become available in 2021. The Armada fleet is set to become the world’s largest fleet of uncrewed vessels comprising 21m, 36m and 78m vessels. Offering more sustainable and safer operations than anything else currently available in the industry, the fleet will spark the biggest transformation the maritime industry has seen since sail gave way to steam.