USNS Henson Locates Aircraft Wreckage in Caribbean
By SOF Editor on Thu, 12/03/2009 - 11:12am
U.S. Navy oceanographic survey ship USNS Henson (T-AGS 63), currently deployed for Oceanographic Southern Partnership Station, located the sunken wreckage of an aircraft Nov. 30 in the waters of the Netherland Antilles that had been missing since late October.
Henson, currently deployed in the Caribbean under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (NAVSO/C4F), was conducting oceanographic equipment testing operations near Curacao in the vicinity of the aircraft's last known coordinates. Following a request for assistance from the government of Netherland Antilles, NAVSO redirected Henson to search for the aircraft at its last known coordinates. Henson located aircraft wreckage about 190 meters deep at those coordinates.
The Britten-Norman Islander aircraft, operated by Divi Divi Air, crashed Oct. 22 into the Caribbean Sea near Bonaire. All nine passengers escaped. The pilot remains missing.
Henson will be in the Caribbean through early next year in support of U.S. Southern Command's (SOUTHCOM) survey requirements and NAVSO/C4F in support of Partnership of Americas, which seeks to strengthen partnerships and improve regional security.
Henson is one of seven oceanographic survey ships belonging to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command and operated for the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. These ships operate worldwide collecting data that provide much of the U.S. military's information on the ocean environment. Henson is operated and navigated by 24 civilian mariners working for a commercial firm under contract to Military Sealift Command while up to 27 civilian surveyors from the Naval Oceanographic Office carry out the ship's survey mission.