Future sailings for research ship Petrel cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic

The American research vessel Petrel will be placed in long-term moorage and will not be deployed for the foreseeable future, the vessel’s crew confirmed via their official Facebook page on Wednesday, June 10.

The crew cited the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason for the cancellation of all research sailings of the vessel.

Robert Kraft, Director of Subsea Operations at Vulcan, said he remains hopeful that Petrel will eventually return to service.

The vessel’s most recent expedition saw it deploy ocean monitoring buoys off the Bahamas earlier this year as part of a project led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In 2019, Petrel and its crew discovered a record total of 14 World War II shipwrecks including those of the Japanese aircraft carriers Akagi and Kaga.

Last December, the vessel located the ferry Doña Paz and the oil tanker Vector, which were both sunk in Philippine waters on December 20, 1987, with an estimated death toll of 4,386 in what has been called the deadliest maritime disaster to occur during peacetime.

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