DECEMBER WAS A BUSY TIME on the water for Capt. Dana Willis, Marine Operations Manager. After leading an effort to assist a vessel in distress off Cape Rosier only days earlier, he was asked to help assist in the recovery of two bales of compressed plastic waste that had fallen into the Searsport Harbor while being unloaded.
Willis and Capt. Derek Chase, Master of the tug Pentagoet, took the RV Friendship, equipped with side-scan sonar to the scene and ran a grid search pattern.
“We spotted the target on the first session across the grid,” said Willis. “Additional passes over it confirmed its condition and position. A big square object (shown right) like that was a nice thing to be looking for. Derek’s expertise with the sonar was invaluable.”
The bale was in approximately 30 feet of water, lying on its side in about six feet of mud. Two days later, it was recovered by divers. The other bale broke apart near the dock and washed ashore in pieces.█
Photo: Sonar image courtesy of MMA Waterfront