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Finding CSIRO’s Glider 416 following a shark attack

Jan 12, 2017

On January 21st 2016, Rob Gregor (CSIRO) and his team from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) deployed the Slocum glider 416 (Amy) as part of the eReefs project to observe the water around the northern Great Barrier Reef. The plan was for the deployment to start in Palm Passage and sample to include the areas of routine ship borne CTD measurements.

Finding the glider with Argos

CSIRO glider shark tooth

Shark tooth mark on CSIRO glider after it was recuperated. Copyright CSIRO.

Only 3 hours after being deployed, Glider 416 stopped communicating via Iridium, and was lost for a period of approximately 6 days. It’s only on January 27 at 01:00 UTC that the Glider returned back to the surface and started transmitting via the Argos transmitter integrated in the glider as a back-up communication system. Thanks to the last known location of the Argos transmitter and the use of an Argos direction finder, the Glider was eventually successfully recovered.

Glider attacked by a shark
This mysterious disappearance of Glider 416 has being explained by external damage (damage to the rear cowling, drop weight tube, digifin, thruster and thruster tube) and a small fragment of tooth imbedded in the aft cowling. These findings confirmed that Glider 416 had been subjected to a shark attack.

Learn more 

Watch the movie about the eReefs project: