NOAA 2005-R803
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani
3/24/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA SHIP RAINIER CONDUCTING SURVEYS
TO UPDATE NAUTICAL CHARTS IN STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ship Rainier is conducting hydrographic surveys in portions of the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the “RA” Buoy, from Protection Island to the shore of Lopez Island. The data collected are part of a multi-year project to update the nation’s nautical charts.

The ship is surveying the area to identify the location of boulders, wrecks and other hazards to navigation absent from current charts and to verify objects and depths already noted.

The 231-ft. Rainier is one of four hydrographic survey ships in the NOAA fleet that conduct hydrographic surveys in support of the nautical charting mission of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. Although the ship is 37 years old, its suite of state-of-the-art survey gear--global positioning system side-scan sonar, multi-beam survey technology, echo sounders, data acquisition and processing computers, and six survey launches—makes it one of the most productive survey platforms of its type in the world. With a crew of 55, Rainier operates eight to nine months of the year in the coastal waters of Alaska and Washington.

As part of the NOAA fleet of research ships and aircraft, Rainier is operated and managed by NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations, composed of civilians and commissioned NOAA Corps officers. The NOAA Corps is a uniformed service of the United States, whose officers--all scientists or engineers--provide NOAA with an important blend of operational, management and technical skills that support the agency’s programs at sea, in the air and ashore. Rainier is under the command of Cmdr. John Humphrey, NOAA Corps.

NOAA is part of the United States Department of Commerce. The National Ocean Service produces nautical charts used for navigation by commercial and recreational mariners, and is responsible for the tide and current prediction tables. Further information about NOAA and the National Ocean Service can be found at http://www.noaa.gov.