NOAA Ship Surveying Hudson River

Friday, November 12, 1999
NOAA ship Rude - the hydrographic survey ship that located the wreckage of John F. Kennedy Jr.'s aircraft on the sea floor - was in New York through Oct. 17 to survey the Hudson River, south of the George Washington Bridge to 55th Street. Rude (pronounced Rude-dee), which uses sonar technology to locate sea floor obstructions and other navigational hazards for nautical charts, conducted the survey at the request of the New York Harbor Safety, Navigation and Operations Committee and the U.S. Navy for the safety of ships transiting the river, and to ensure the safety of vessels participating in the OpSail 2000 event next year. These high-resolution surveys will be used to update the nautical charts of the area, which are currently based on surveys from 1939. The OpSail 2000 flotilla will include tall ships from more than 36 nations, and more than 200 international military and other types of vessels. Thousands of spectator vessels are also expected to accompany the ships. Updated nautical charts are critical for their safe passage. Rude used three types of sonar - vertical, side-scan, and multi-beam - not only to locate and determine the shallowest depths, but also to identify objects or formations (called contacts) on the river floor by producing picture-like images. This is the same technology used to find the wreckage of the Kennedy aircraft after its tragic crash in July, enabling Navy divers to perform their recovery operations.

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