A scientific ocean drone and its “priceless” data has been hauled from a Victorian beach to await retrieval by its US owners.
Waratah Bay Marine Rescue found a washed-up ocean drone earlier this week after it became lost in the Southern Ocean
The drone was covered in barnacles and is beginning to smell, but still retained all its research data
US researchers will use the data to learn about krill density in Antarctica
Its name is saildrone (SD)1023 and it started its uncrewed journey around Antarctica with its sister SD1022 two years ago. Within days though, the former was lost.
Battling the Southern Ocean for two years on its own, facing icebergs, winter storms, and creatures great and small, SD1023 finally made its way to rest on a beach in Waratah Bay, Victoria.
Greg Mouldings from Waratah Bay Marine Rescue found the ocean drone earlier this week.
“We’ve actually finally got the drone off the beach which was pretty amazing,” he said.