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AusOcean Rig Deployment & Retreival Guide
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AusOcean Rig Deployment & Retrieval Guide

Revised: 23rd April 2020

Author(s): Catherine Larkin <catherine@ausocean.org>


Copyright

Copyright © The Australian Ocean Laboratory Limited (AusOcean) 2020 .

The information contained herein is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License.

Notice

AusOcean rigs are maritime infrastructure and must be deployed at sea only with approvals from relevant regulatory authorities. Typically a Notice to Mariners (NTM) will be issued to advise mariners of the rig’s location and flashing light sequence.

If you are constructing a rig as part of the Network Blue program, please contact us as AusOcean handles all regulatory approvals.

Rigs must only be deployed by AusOcean staff. Depending on conditions, it may be possible for students to participate, providing they sign a waiver document.

AusOcean is not liable for any losses, damages, costs and/or other consequences resulting directly or indirectly from using or relying on the information in this document.


Table of contents

1.0 Rig Installation        3

1.1 Equipment        3

1.2 Procedures        3

2.0 Rig Replacement        6

2.1 Equipment        6

2.2 Procedures        6


1.0 Rig Installation

N.B These procedures may vary depending on the site. Ensure any alterations to these steps are clearly outlined in the field work plan.

Before securing the camera, ensure the cable is running through the center of the bridle to prevent entanglement.

Prior to installation:

  1. Site selected, anchors (screw piles or other) installed and all relevant documents updated. Ideally the camera location would be selected ahead of time to streamline the installation process.
  2. Mooring line measured and spliced with (3) rings attached.
  3. Camera cable length documented and calculations undertaken which indicate the max distance of camera location from star dropper allowing for mooring separation, tides & swell.
  4. Bridle bar attached to rig along with mooring lines (if applicable), OR if mooring lines are already deployed they can be shackled in the water.

Update mooring system

  1.  If implementing the new mooring design two seperate spliced mooring lines with rings attached to thimbles on one end will be used. The rings will be shackled to the bridle bar.

1.1 Equipment

  1. Rig with bridles and bridle bar
  2. Shifter
  3. UV resistant cable ties
  4. Mallet
  5. Stardroppers, 1 with camera bracket attached, 1 with D shackle (depending on cable length)
  6. Center weight (1.5kg) with shackle attached
  7. Tethering rope
  8. Stainless steel shackle for feeding camera cable through center weight
  9. Measuring tape
  10. Spare stainless steel shackles

1.2 Procedures

Everyone:

  1. Get rig in water and tether to boat.

Divers procedure:

  1. Attach mooring lines to anchors, ensure shackles are tightened and cable tied.
  2. Install camera stardroppers, one at the mid point between the anchors and one at the camera location with the camera bracket attached.

N.B depending on the length of camera cable only one star dopper may be used.

  1. Install underwater camera by fixing the cable to the mid star dropper using a D shackle (allowing cable to slide nicely to minimise abrasion).
  2. Fix camera to the bracket on second star dropper and tighten, ensure cable is looped and secured with cable ties to avoid tugging (Figure 2) be sure to coil up any excess cable. OR
  3. Run the camera cable down the mooring line and attach with cable ties (implemented with new mooring design).
  4. Attach a shackle to the centerweight and guide the cable through. Ensure the cable is positioned correctly running down the center of the bridle.
  5. Take time to observe and video the final set-up upon completion.  

Surface Procedure:

  1. Once the mooring line is secure the bridle bar and centerweight can be attached to the rings. The centerweight is attached to the middle ring, the bridle bra is attached to the outer rings.
  2. Tighten and cable tie shackles.
  3. Ensure bridles have been correctly attached and there are no twists in the rope.

 

Figure 1. Mooring system with centerweight & bridle bar

Figure 2. Camera loop to prevent tugging on connection.


2.0 Rig Replacement 

N.B These steps will vary depending on the state of the existing infrastructure i.e. steps 2-4 in divers procedure and steps 2 & 3 in surface procedure are only applicable if there is a deployed camera.

This guide can also be used for rig retrievals following steps 1-4 in divers procedure & 1-3 in surface procedure.

Before securing the camera, ensure the cable is running through the center of the bridle to prevent entanglement.

2.1 Equipment

  1. Shifter
  2. UV resistant cable ties
  3. Tethering rope
  4. Spare shackles
  5. Spare mooring line
  6. Large buoy

2.2 Procedures

Everyone:

  1. Get rig in water and tether to boat.

Divers Procedure:

  1. Check mooring lines for abrasion and wear and tear, ensure shackles are tight, add cable ties if necessary.  Replace mooring line if required.
  2. Disconnect camera from bracket leaving bracket and star dropper there. Be sure to reel up the cable nicely.
  3. Undo the shackle on the second star dropper, remove cable leaving the shackle attached.
  4. Undo the shackle on the centerweight, reeling up the cable nicely and bring to the surface placing on top of rig and securing if possible, leave the shackle in place attached to the centerweight.
  5. With the new rig in the water and bridle attached (see surface procedure), the new camera may be installed.
  6. Install new underwater camera by fixing the cable to the mid star dropper using a D shackle (allowing cable to slide nicely to minimise abrasion).
  7. Fix camera to existing bracket on star dropper and tighten, coiling up any excess cable.
  8. Run the cable through the shackle on the centerwight. Ensure the cable is positioned correctly running down the center of the bridle.
  9. Take time to observe and video the final set-up upon completion.

Surface Procedure:

  1. Attach line between boat and old rig.
  2. After the camera has been brought to the surface, disconnect the bridle from rings and attach to a large buoy, the centerweight will remain in place.
  3. Once the camera cable is disconnected and reeled up the old rig can float free.
  4. Attach bridle bar to rig bridle system
  5. Pull new rig to buoy and attach bridle bar shackles to the outer rings on the mooring line, the center weight should still be in place.

The Australian Ocean Laboratory Limited (AusOcean)