Whenever we can’t get out on the Hercules search due to fog or traffic and the weather allows we fall back on another area looking for another aircraft which is nowhere near as busy from the point of view of traffic but search wise is just as intense and meticulous. There is absolutely no point in searching if you are content to just miss a bit every now and then and hope it will be alright. The image is a plot of our activity and as you can see bottom left is a scale, the white lines represent the track of the vessel, the greyed out part defines the coverage of the sonar in this case two hundred metre runs and each pass we overlap the first pass by fifty percent. We have covered here an area around 800 metres wide and three and a half thousand metres long. All the numbers represent a sonar target that appears non natural i.e. given away by a straight line or a shape that doesn’t look like a rock and stands out from the general seabed appearance. We have this area absolutely nailed and nothing has gone unnoticed. However we are left with fifty odd targets to check out and we are hoping they are parts of an aircraft that hit the water at around 500 knots! The crash itself would be enough to spread the aircraft far and wide but fifty years of trawler activity doesn’t make the task any easier as oblivious the trawler men have further dragged everything around the seabed. There are a couple of relatively big lumps right of centre but the rest are small scattered targets which would take us weeks to check out with divers which is why we are so desperate to get the cameras repaired and back in action. Hopefully this shows the sort of intensity we put into these searches and the Hercules will be and is getting exactly the same level of effort and detailed attention. Every day we go out there to look for it we come back knowing another area where it isn’t! Which is exactly how you have to look at it till one day…..

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