How KVH Communications Technology saved the Oceanus team from an Orca attack

Last summer, the Oceanus team, one of our Marine Communication clients, embarked on an expedition, launching from the coastal city of La Rochelle in France, before sailing across the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean towards Spain and Portugal.

As Oceanus passed Santander in Spain and continued its journey towards Portugal, conditions were calm, with swells of just two to three metres as the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean.

The situation drastically changed, however, as an Orca whale attacked, jumping over the bow of the small boat, before being joined by a second whale from the stern. As the whale attack progressed, the severity of the situation only increased, as damage was done to the rudders. As a result, the vessel’s primary method of steering was no longer viable.

The vessel’s safety was fortunately placed into the hands of the KVH hybrid communication equipment on board, installed and serviced by Global Satellite, allowing the team to contact the factory and their owners, to ensure that everyone was well informed and up to date with the ever-changing situation.

With the hybrid connectivity system keeping all parties notified, the team were able to continue sailing safely down to Cascais, a municipality just outside of Lisbon in Portugal. Where, upon arrival, new rudders were ready to be installed quickly and efficiently, and as a result, the Atlantic Ocean voyage could continue with minimal disruption.

Without the abilities of advance communication with the KVH hybrid technology, the journey down to Lisbon would have been unnecessarily treacherous, and the progress of installing the new rudders would have slowed. With the journey being monitored by teams on the ground and communication easy thanks to the advanced technology used, the vessel was able to continue without further incident after the whale attack, seeing out its coastal voyage.

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