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ROV Snagged On Submerged Object

Has anybody snagged their ROV on a submerged object? This could be a net, fishihng or abandoned anchor line, part of a wreck and countless other things that are on the bottom.

Yep, it will happen from time to time. Just don’t panic and pull on the tether hard and break it. Best advice is to fly back along your tether and try to locate where it is snagged. Once you find it its just a matter of figuring out what maneuvers are required to get it free. Most of the time its a rock that it snags under so flying back the other way will pull it free. Worst case if its really snagged, its possible surface the vehicle and work on it both ways from the boat.


It can definitely happen depending on a few factors, such as bottom structure, visibility etc… We use our modified BR2 in the Great Lakes on shipwrecks primarily and are blessed with good visibility for the most part. However, on really deep dives available light becomes an issue and you can’t see your tether. We have found that tether management is a very important factor in avoiding snags. We have one person operating the ROV and another managing slack in the tether and we are constantly communicating as to depth of the ROV and length of tether deployed. We also have marked our tether with labels so we know how much tether we have deployed. Comparing that with the depth of the ROV can be useful in knowing if we are snagged. I agree that following your tether back to the source of the snag is useful in understanding how you are snagged and how to get yourself free. Hope this helps.

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Sounds like tending a diver.

Berny Shomstein