Degree students in Cornwall have been taught how to explore the ocean depths thanks to a masterclass in underwater remote operative vehicle (ROV) operation.
Cornwall-based company Kernow Marine Explorations Global LTD (KME) spent the afternoon with Falmouth Marine School’s Marine Science Degree students, imparting their expertise.
Student Chloe White explained the group were learning about deep sea environments, including the species and biological communities found at the extreme depths of the ocean, an area in which ROVs are so useful. “We were sending the ROVs around the aquaculture centre’s deep tanks and using them to navigate around the water column,”
She continued. “It takes time to get used to, but once you get the feel of the device they take on a life of their own and are like having a long lens into the deep water. They are a lot of fun, but have a real practical use.”
Lecturer Luke Marsh said the ROVs have the potential to not only identify these species and seek out special underwater habitats, “but also remove samples deep underwater that would otherwise be incredibly difficult, dangerous, expensive or even impossible to access in any other way”.
“Learning how to safely control and accurately operate the ROV enhances the student’s skills and abilities and provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate potential study areas for their future science careers,” he added.
KME hold the industry standard safety qualification OPITO BOSIET and have worked internationally in the technology of ROVs.
The company is developing their portfolio of training links, including establishing Falmouth Marine School as one of their collaborators.
KME Director Angelina Rose said: “We want to start providing ROV training nationally as a recognised stand-alone qualification, so taking time to teach students at the Marine School is an opportunity to develop our skills in working with new sectors looking to utilising the technology, at the same time as educating the next generation of marine biologists in the use of ROV’s”.
KME have future visits planned with both the Marine Science and Marine Engineering students.
Head Of Falmouth Marine School Justin Olosunde said: “We want to support KME to develop training and courses using the technology; strengthening the provision within STEM subjects and providing Cornwall with another unique marine-based asset and marine training opportunity”.
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