RIP Nereus: Woods Hole’s HROV Reported Lost 6 Miles Under Sea

by Owen James Burke

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While exploring 6 miles deep in the Kermadec Trench off New Zealand, researchers lost track of Woods Hole’s HROV Nereus on Saturday, and they think it may have imploded under pressure.

Hours later, the research team noticed debris floating, which they linked back to Nereus. They’re hoping to find more, something to provide them with an understanding of what may have happened.

The one of a kind Nereus was built in 2008, and has since been to the the deepest known hydrothermal vents in the ocean, along the Cayman Rise and Deep Challenger at the Marianas Trench — the deepest point in the ocean.

“We are grateful to our partners for helping build such a breakthrough technological innovation in deep-ocean exploration and to the many engineers, technicians, and scientists at WHOI and around the world who helped realize our vision of a full-ocean-depth research vehicle,” said WHOI President and Director Susan Avery. “Nereus may be gone, but the discoveries it enabled and the things it helped us learn will be an indelible part of its legacy.”

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