Repair crew sets sail for NEPTUNE

A team of six people from ONC is expected to reach the damaged Barkley Sound NEPTUNE equipment on Monday, July 11.

An excursion is underway that will determine how much damage the Ocean Network Canada (ONC) observatory in Barkley Sound suffered.

The project is known as NEPTUNE, and begins on the waterfront in Port Alberni.

A team of six people from ONC left on the repair excursion on Sunday, July 3 and is expected to reach the damaged Barkley Sound equipment on Monday, July 11.

“They’ll be surveying the extent of the damage and checking the functioning of existing equipment that we have there,” said ONC president Martin Taylor.

The damage occurred on Feb. 18 in the upper slope of the Barkley Canyon, where ONC has upwards of a million dollars of equipment laid out. Sensors picked up what was thought to be a fishing trawler heading towards it before suddenly going offline.

The extent of the damage still isn’t known, nor is the identity of the trawler.

“The matter is in our insurer’s hands and I’m not aware of any definitive identification,” Taylor said.

The repair excursion is expected to last until the end of July.

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