Corps' Shoalhunter crew searches for sand, sediment buildup
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, Survey Vessel Shoalhunter surveys northwest Pacific channels and harbors, checking for channel shoaling, the buildup of sand and sediment. The vessel’s duty station is in Grays Harbor, Wash., and it moors in Westport or Hoquiam. It operates along Washington’s coast from Westport to Cape Flattery with a three-person crew, a master and first mate for the vessel and one technician who manages onboard equipment and conducts the surveys. Positioning equipment precisely locates the vessel during navigation channel surveys while recording gear measures water depth along the vessel’s track. An on-board computer system integrates the position and vessel track with depth data then plots it on navigation charts. The collected data is also used for dredge estimation and dredging contract quantities.

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