A US Navy salvage system has arrived in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a Navy official said Wednesday, as crews prepare it for mobilization to the site of the ongoing search for a missing submersible.
The Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System (FADOSS) is capable of retrieving objects or vessels off the bottom of the ocean floor up to a depth of 20,000 feet, more than enough to reach the wreckage of the Titanic.
But before the FADOSS system can be used, it must be welded to the deck of a ship, a process which can take a full day, the official said.
“Our estimate is approximately 24 hours of round-the-clock operation to weld it and secure it to the deck of the vessel prior to getting underway,” the official said on a call with reporters.
The Navy does not currently have a vessel lined up to carry the FADOSS to the site, but the official said they are trying to contract a vessel soon.
“We have a vessel of opportunity that we are looking to put under charter, but it is not currently under charter,” said the official.
The FADOSS was most recently used to recover a F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet from the Mediterranean Sea last July. Its deepest recovery to date was at 19,075 feet, the Navy official said.
Asked if it had ever recovered someone alive, the official said, “Usually, we’re recovering objects from the bottom or aircraft from a mishap.”