Transcript for Oceanfloor Legacy, segment 12 of 14

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After five hours of shooting pictures in freezing water fifteen hundred meters down, the camera sled is brought back with its images of the bottom. Regardless of their success at locating the barrels, the photographs and video will provide insight into this rarely seen portion of the marine sanctuary. Anticipation amongst the scientists and crew is high as photographs of the drums would fulfill their final goal of the cruise.

After a thorough check by the radiation specialist, Hank heads for the video monitor in search of the discarded waste drums.


Murky water and a monotonous plain of settlement move across the screen, but then a solitary barrel appears.

It was pretty exciting when we first saw this because there was a whole group of us just sitting around over here. You know, we were just kind of feeding through the tape, and all of a sudden we see that, that barrel come up so whoa - you know, holy mackerel.

Who was in here?

Burton. There must have been a dozen people in here at the time. It was pretty exciting, and then, you know, we thought, well, we got one. Boy, we're really lucky, but then within the same minute we catch a second one and then a third one, and Herman was just going nuts. He was real happy.

These important images show that the marine sanctuary can rely on the sonar images to guide them to the waste drums. While the drums are corroded and surrounded with life, the extent of their impact on the environment remains uncertain. The Gulf of the Farralonnes National Marine Sanctuary will use the mosaics to conduct a detailed study tracing levels of radioactivity in local marine organisms.

The Open Video Project is managed at the Interaction Design Laboratory,
at the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill