The Investigator at sea with an aerial view of the rear deck

Back deck

Although the ship has extensive automated monitoring equipment, much research requires equipment to be deployed and retrieved manually. The back deck is the main area for these activities, there is also a CTD deployment door on the starboard side of the vessel and booms at the front of the vessel for deploying specialised equipment.

Aft deck A frame

Aft deck A frame

Working on the back deck is exciting but it can also be a dangerous place so precautions need to be taken to ensure everyone is safe.  This will at times involve restricting access to the back deck to only those personnel directly involved in the operation, with other personnel located in safe observing areas.

Clothing and protective equipment

The back deck is exposed to the weather so appropriate clothing and safety equipment are essential.

Depending on the operation, people working on the back deck will require safety boots, eye protection, hard hat, a high visibility vest, personal flotation device and a safety line.  Wet weather gear and other protective clothing are used as required.

Preparing scientific equipment

In many cases, scientific equipment being deployed into the ocean needs to be prepared beforehand.  If conditions are suitable this can be done outside on the back deck. 

Preparing equipment for deployment can also be carried out in the sheltered science area and deck workshop.  This is a two storey area for preparing, assembling or dismantling equipment and removing collected samples once equipment is returned to the vessel.  This area is protected from the weather so work can continue even when conditions outside deteriorate.

To facilitate the movement of samples from the back deck to inside the vessel there is also a conveyor system. This can take samples from the back deck into the general purpose wet laboratory (dirty).

Updated: 07 January 2015