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January 2024    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 50, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Technology Used to Find Lost Guam Divers

from the January, 2024 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Three missing divers who drifted away from their dive boat 29 miles off the coast of Guam on October 28 were found by the U.S. Coast Guard using a high-tech tracking buoy to follow prevailing ocean currents.

The three men were experienced divers who had planned to surface together in case of an emergency. They wore distinctive bright t-shirts and carried diving lights and surface marker buoys.

The dive boat radio had problems receiving signals, so the captain announced it would leave the area to get closer to shore for a telephone connection. The helicopter crew immediately went to the spot where the divers had entered the water and deployed an SLDMB (self-locating datum marker buoy), a data marker buoy that, based on where the person entered the water, gives drift direction and speed to estimate where the person might be found....

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