Beneath choppy Puget Sound waters linger remnants of war that could potentially harm both life and this robust sea-faring industry. During a routine security dive, Port of Seattle divers discovered munitions that date back to World War II. Munitions were found on six more occasions, the last of which was considered hazardous. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized a time critical removal action to deal with munitions found where cruise ships berthed on Pier 91.
Sky Research was contracted to begin a series of surveys using multi-beam, side scan and stationary scanning sonar to produce a higher resolution picture. Through the innovative use of advanced geophysical and remote sensing technologies, Sky Research has developed an efficient and effective Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) detection methodology. The surveys uncovered 11 discarded military munitions and 212 munitions-related items.
Sky Research selected Munson Boats to produce a highly customized multipurpose research vessel designed for multi-diver operations, marine magnetometer data collection, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) deployments, and marine survey operations including Side Scan Sonar, Scanning Sonar, Sub-Bottom Profiling and Multi-Beam Bathymetry. One of the primary roles for the new vessel is to collect underwater magnetometer data with the SkyDiver array. The array is made of a reinforced non-metallic fiberglass wing that can carry five magnetometers. The magnetometers detect ferrous metal (iron) objects at or beneath the surface of the seafloor.
The new 36’ Munson Packcat has 250 square feet of open deck workspace. The rear deck is equipped with a 1,000 lb capacity stern A-Frame. The bow deck has a 1,000 lb davit with a hydraulic capstan, hydraulic bow door, and dual side doors. For dive operations, locations were provided to mount dive ladders on the bow door, transom swim step, as well as port or starboard side doors. Power is provided by twin Volvo D6 330 HP diesel stern drives producing a 30 mph cruise and 41 mph top speed.
The walk around cabin houses the CPU Rack, Garmin 5212 GPS navigation with autopilot, two helm stations and survey work station. The cabin for has heat and air conditioning, galley, head, hot water shower and wireless internet. The SkyDiver high-speed winch is mounted on the roof of the cabin inside a sound proof enclosure.