The Associated Press will provide live underwater video from a deep-sea research mission that aims to unlock the secrets of the Indian Ocean. AP is the only news agency working with a team of British scientists from the Nekton research team, who will explore depths of up to 300 meters (1,000 feet) off the coast of the Seychelles in two-person submarines. The seven-week voyage will begin in March. It is the first in a series of planned Nekton missions in the Indian Ocean over the next three years. Scientists will draw additional data from precision instruments dropped to up to 2,000 meters (6,500 feet). There is currently very little comprehensive mapping or biological research of the Seychelles or the wider Indian Ocean below 30 meters (100 feet).
• AP video coverage will include the search for submerged mountain ranges and previously undiscovered marine life, a behind-the-scenes look at life on board, interviews with world-class researchers and drone footage of the mission.
• AP’s broadcast and digital customers will be able to offer live video to their audiences around the world and may conduct live two-way interviews with the scientists and AP journalists on board.
The submarines (photo above) and a remotely operated underwater vehicle will be equipped with twelve underwater cameras and six more above the surface. Using cutting-edge technology, AP plans to broadcast live from on board and speak to the scientists as they work.
“AP has been in the vanguard of developing the breaking news live video viewing experience for more than two decades. By harnessing the latest live streaming technologies, which will enable us to broadcast in real time from deep down in the Indian Ocean, we can transport viewers to a vast hidden expanse of sea that mankind has never previously explored,” said Sandy MacIntyre, AP vice president and director of key initiatives for news. He added: “What scientists from the Nekton Mission discover will be fascinating and newsworthy. It will also inform the debate on the state of our planet’s ocean and the resources within that are so precious and so vital to the future of billions of people.”
Nekton CEO Oliver Steeds said: “We are about to embark on a vital scientific mission that will help uncover the secrets of our deep ocean, the last great unexplored part of our planet. With AP accompanying us every step of the way, we can reach millions of people around the world, to inspire them about the relevance and importance of the ocean in all our lives. Together we will be able to explore the last great frontier on our planet and inspire a new generation in the same way Jacques Cousteau did all those years ago.”
• More detail on our lead photo above: ‘The Britain-based Nekton Mission will use submarines to go 300 meters below the surface and sonar equipment to survey depths of up to 2,000 meters once the Ocean Zephyr reaches the Seychelles. Final preparations were being made Thursday for the start of an unprecedented, years-long mission to explore the Indian Ocean, during which scientists hope to document changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades. (AP Photo/Stephen Barker)’