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Coast Guard ROV Missions - Protecting Our Coastlines

Amanda Coulas   |   August 4, 2017

Taking a dive with a Coast Guard ROV - an in-depth look at how the Deep Trekker underwater drone is being used by the maritime first responders.

The Coast Guard is a multi-mission service, responsible for enforcing admiralty or maritime law in order to protect countries and coastlines. As a unit of the military, the Coast Guard has a diverse role in terms of the services they render - from coastal defense to search and rescue, to admiralty law - the one constant in the portfolio is regardless of the scenario - they need to move fast.

Highly trained officers and advanced technology are the key driving forces in the success of the Coast Guard. An underwater ROV is just one example of the kind of cutting edge technology being introduced into the day-to-day operations of the Coast Guard, enabling them to deploy quickly under time restraints and effectively in urgent scenarios. Let’s review just four of the facets of the Coast Guard, and how an underwater Coast Guard ROV is being employed.

Coast Guard ROV in Action

Search and Rescue

canada_search_and_rescue_helicopter_boat coast guard rov

By Bmpower at English Wikipedia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Search and recovery is the main objective of the Coast Guard service. These kinds of incidents require brave men and women to place themselves in harm’s way - and every second counts. The Coast Guard relies on advanced technologies such as an underwater ROV; to survey an area, to locate a downed victim, sunken boat, plane, helicopter, or a multitude of other incident sites. The Deep Trekker Coast Guard ROV is designed to withstand these harsh environments, which can often be offshore without any power resources and no more room than a Zodiac.

Related video: Search and Rescue ROV Best Practices

The DTG2 and DTX2 ROV systems can be checked onto a plane, into an emergency vehicle and transported to a site quickly. Deployment in a disaster situation needs to be immediate and effective as time is of the essence. Offshore water can be unpredictable and dark, the vectored thrust system of the DTX2 ROV is ideal for maintaining stability in heavy currents and additional payloads such as sonar and USBL systems help give the surface eyes in dark or murky water.

Fisheries Enforcement

The Coast Guard is also responsible for enforcing federal fishing laws at sea. When patrolling the coastline, the Coast Guard can quickly deploy an ROV to assist in determining the activities of a suspicious vessel. Illegal harvesting, and other criminal activities can be ascertained by the ROV. Information can be quickly sent via digital imaging and picture back up to the surface, allowing the Coast Guard to maintain and enforce regulations efficiently.

The Deep Trekker internal HD camera is entirely operated by the ergonomic handheld controller, including the viewing screen. This low-impact investigation tool is ideal for the Coast Guard to quickly deploy when first approaching a site of interest, and have all the recorded footage saved for later review or trial.

Related article: Fisheries and Oceans Canada Enforcement

Use ROVs to boost security and searching abilities on your Coast Guard Team

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Drug Interdiction

The Coast Guard is the first line of defense against drug smuggling into a country. In the United States, the Coast Guard drug interdiction accounts for more than half of all U.S. government seizures of cocaine each year. Evidently, the Coast Guard works tirelessly to ensure the seizures of drugs and smuggled goods.


An underwater HD camera ROV is extremely important to the Coast Guard, in this case, to easily inspect areas such as rudders, thruster openings or the bulbous bow of large vessels where drugs and other contraband can easily be hidden.

National Defense and Port Security

Along with search and rescue, port security is the Coast Guard’s primary homeland security mission. Counter-terrorism measures are heavily enforced at all ports of entry, but in particular, waterways, to ensure the safety of citizens. Often partnering with the Border Patrol, the Coast Guard performs security sweeps, inspections, and inspection of incoming vessels and the surrounding areas.

Related Article: Port Security Threats

These areas are extremely dangerous for divers to enter, and often they do not know what they are going to find. Efforts to seize suspected contraband could end up in fatalities if an item ends up being a limpet mine instead. An underwater drone keeps the officers out of harm’s way, remotely inspecting vessels and areas of interest. The DTX2 ROV is ideal for this kind of critical inspection. With the ability to move laterally, or by mounting side facing cameras to switch between multiple camera views, the DTG2 or DTX2 ROV's are fully equipped to provide detailed inspection data to the surface, capturing real time imaging and helping determine the validity of an item before deploying a dive team.

The Diveable Alternative

Once a suspicious vessel has been cleared of mine, bombs or other life threatening armaments, the Deep Trekker diveable controller allows a Coast Guard diver to dive with a DTX2 or DTG2, sending the ROV ahead for further inspection, or to allow the surface to observe the removal or destruction of an item, while ensuring the safety of the man in the water.


The Coast Guard protects our countries and waterways every day, it is through the heroic work that loved ones are rescued, maritime law is followed and that our ports are kept safe. Deep Trekker is proud to offer a technology that can assist in keeping these brave men and women safe while assisting them in effective protecting their homes.

More Information

Interested in our recommended ROV package for military and coast guard? See the preferred ROV here.

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