The PAP buoy drifts in the water behind the MARIA S. MERIAN.

The PAP buoy drifts in the water behind the MARIA S. MERIAN. Photo: Timm Schoening/GEOMAR

Four crew members of Maria S. Merian secure the PAP buoy to the stern crane.

The experienced crew of the MARIA S. MERIAN secures the buoy at the stern crane. Photo: Timm Schoening/GEOMAR

The PAP buoy comes on deck of the Maria S. Merian.

After a few minutes the PAP buoy comes on deck of the MARIA S. MERIAN. Photo: Timm Schoening/GEOMAR

Neighborhood Assistance in the North Atlantic

Expedition MSM96 recovers large buoy of the British National Oceanography Centre

6 November 2020/Northatlantic/Kiel. Actually, the goal of the expedition MSM96 of the German research vessel MARIA S. Merian was to precisely map and investigate parts of the seafloor in the central Atlantic.  But yesterday the scientific voyage turned for a short time into a salvage mission. The crew of MARIA S. MERIAN pulled a six meter long buoy out of the sea, which had been drifting uncontrolled southwest of Ireland for several days. It was part of the "Porcupine Abyssal Plain Observatory" (PAP), an oceanographic long-term observation station of the British National Oceanography Centre. End of October a massive storm with waves more than twenty meters high had torn the buoy from the mooring cable. Since the area was on the route of RV MARIA S. MERIAN and the crew has experience with such large oceanographic equipment, the German research vessel took over the recovery.

"Marine research is an international business, and without good partners and friends, we won’t get anywhere in the vast oceans", writes chief scientist Dr. Timm Schoening from GEOMAR in the expedition blog, where he recounts the whole exciting story of the PAP buoys recovery:

https://www.oceanblogs.org/msm96/2020/11/06/nachbarschaftshilfe/

The PAP buoy drifts in the water behind the MARIA S. MERIAN.

The PAP buoy drifts in the water behind the MARIA S. MERIAN. Photo: Timm Schoening/GEOMAR

Four crew members of Maria S. Merian secure the PAP buoy to the stern crane.

The experienced crew of the MARIA S. MERIAN secures the buoy at the stern crane. Photo: Timm Schoening/GEOMAR

The PAP buoy comes on deck of the Maria S. Merian.

After a few minutes the PAP buoy comes on deck of the MARIA S. MERIAN. Photo: Timm Schoening/GEOMAR