Modernizing Search and Rescue operations using Remotely Operated Vehicle

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Underwater search and rescue, recovery and investigations are time-sensitive operations performed in extremely challenging conditions. In emergency situations, the first ones to enter the water are specially trained to search and rescue, dive teams. There are many conditions that pose a threat to public safety divers who enter the water. Considering safety and cost efficiency at the forefront of these missions, it has never been more important to find new ways and new technologies to conduct these SAR missions. In cases such as these, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are used to complete the task.

Drowning is a major cause of death from unintentional injuries and accidents, after road traffic injuries. According to the World Health Organization, 0.7% of all deaths worldwide (>500,000 deaths) each year are due to unintentional drowning. Quick responses to such incidents can bring effective changes to this atmosphere. Considering safety and cost factors, ROVs can prove to be an effective SAR tool.

Need of an ROV?

During a disaster, the affected communities, response agencies, and governments must all quickly understand who is in need, where they are, what is needed, which agencies can supply the demand, and where the safe routes, distribution centres, medical centres etc. The lack of information, poor information management, and poor communication is often the cause of ineffective response, resulting in the loss of life.

Since disasters often take out critical infrastructures, from roads to railways to means of communication, leaving first responders scrambling, thereby losing critical time. From accessing areas that can't reach to more safely entering flooded unsound structures, Unmanned Vehicles can be used as a source of helping hand. Thus, for these reasons the use of UAVs or drones for crisis mapping, inspections, image capturing, etc has risen continuously over the last couple of years.

Earlier skilled divers were required to inspect harsh underwater environments with little to no visibility. Divers work up to an hour with multiple breaks in between dives, and in case of any issue, they need to be replaced with other divers. Now with the use of ROVs, divers are able to operate at great depths, locate critical areas and send divers down to inspect, allowing for efficient use of time. ROVs also allow divers to remain rested until they are needed during the rescue process.

With the help of high-resolution HD cameras, it is possible to work in extreme turbid water conditions or harsh waters where visibility is very low. 

EyeROV TUNA is India’s First Commercial Inspection Class micro ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) that performs visual inspection and surveys of submerged structures. It is a cost-effective underwater rover that works up to a depth of 100m. It can be easily controlled using a laptop or a joystick. A camera fitted onto the underwater drone(ROV), gives a live video feed of the underwater environment.

Inspection Methodology

ROV is deployed from a boat near the suspected area. Side Scan SONAR or Imaging SONAR (as payload) is used to detect suspicious objects as these help in hazy or turbid waters. Using SONAR technology an entire area is swept to find any traces of objects. Once the object is detected by SONAR, the High Definition camera of the ROV will give a live stream to the control station and the object can be spotted clearly in the camera visual.


  • Improved  locating, identification and retrieval of target

  • HD camera and Video capabilities along with live streaming- see clearly underwater and identify mission targets via camera and video footage.

  • Depth Rating of 100m where traditional divers cannot operate.

  • High-Intensity lights- To operate for night operations

  • Sonar Technology - When visibility is low, underwater footage is far more accurate with the use of sonar technology, providing clear images of the ocean floor, and targeting essential areas. 

  • Dual power mode- Operate independently and is deployed even in the most remote areas.

  • Gripper Arm - When an underwater target is identified, a gripper arm is deployed from the front of the ROV to securely grip the object and direct it to the surface of the water. 


1. Dual frequency Multibeam Imaging SONAR 

  • Benefits: Obstacle/Object Detection during navigation in turbid waters

  • Dual frequency Multibeam Imaging SONARs for underwater imaging

  • High frequencies for greater resolutions and low frequencies for the longer range are effectively integrated and operated

2. Dual frequency Multibeam Imaging SONAR 

  • Benefits: For picking up small objects and hook ropes. Gripper Arm has grabber jaws that open to grab things.

3.  HD Camera with Underwater light

  • Underwater cameras of various sensors suitable for day, night and extremely turbid water-capable vision systems 

  • Varying capacity underwater LED  lights of up to 6*1500 Lumens 

4.  Underwater Positioning System

  • An acoustic-based underwater positioning system is used to track the position of the ROV underwater and trace the navigation path of the ROV


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