Remote-controlled research sub lost in Pacific

May 11, 2014

A remote-controlled research sub exploring some of the deepest depths of the Pacific Ocean has been lost.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution says the Hybrid Remotely Operated Vehicle Nereus was lost during its six-mile dive to the Kermadec Trench on Friday. The sub was being operated as part of the Hadal Ecosystems Studies (HADES) Program funded by the National Science Foundation.

The hadal zone is the name given to the deepest depths of the ocean, named for the underworld of Greek mythology. The Kermadec Trench is the fifth-deepest in the world, about 75 miles off the coast of New Zealand.

Woods Hole science editor Ken Kostel called the loss of Nereus a "body blow" but the research team will continue their work to learn more about "a place that does not give up its secrets easily."

Explore further: Hybrid remotely operated vehicle 'Nereus' reaches deepest part of the ocean

Related Stories

Homebuilding beyond the abyss

February 11, 2010

( -- Evidence from the Challenger Deep -- the deepest surveyed point in the world's oceans-- suggests that tiny single-celled creatures called foraminifera living at extreme depths of more than ten kilometres ...

Why marine fish don't go into the deeper blue

March 5, 2014

( —Fish appear to be absent from the ocean's greatest depths, the trenches from 8,400 to 11,000 m. A team told Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about this in a study titled "Marine fish may be biochemically ...

Scientists explore one of Earth's deepest ocean trenches

April 11, 2014

What lives in the deepest part of the ocean—the abyss? A team of researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will use the world's only full-ocean-depth, hybrid, remotely-operated vehicle, Nereus, and other ...

Recommended for you

Ocean circulation implicated in past abrupt climate changes

June 30, 2016

There was a period during the last ice age when temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere went on a rollercoaster ride, plummeting and then rising again every 1,500 years or so. Those abrupt climate changes wreaked havoc on ...

Huge helium discovery 'a life-saving find'

June 27, 2016

A new approach to gas exploration has discovered a huge helium gas field, which could address the increasingly critical shortage of this vital yet rare element.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (2) May 11, 2014
Saddest part is they may never discover what went wrong...
1 / 5 (1) May 11, 2014
Yeah, they were just waxing poetic about how this submersible was a game-changer, and that The Deep was about to be arm-twisted into giving up all its secrets.

I suppose Leviathan is no more fond of hubris than The Gods.....
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2014
I guess a sentence or two about how and why it was lost was too much at this time? It seems that they might have a chance to recover it, if it wasn't destroyed.
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2014
I guess a sentence or two about how and why it was lost was too much at this time? It seems that they might have a chance to recover it, if it wasn't destroyed.

I'd guess a definitive cause will have to wait a lengthy examination of the last telemetry. Kind of like what happened following the Columbia STS failure. At least there were no people on board this time.

Maybe they should send these remote control subs down in pairs, as practiced by scuba divers.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.