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rotating photos About HURL

The Hawaiʻi Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) has provided scientists with the tools and expertise they need to investigate the undersea environment, including submersibles, remotely operated vehicles, and other cutting edge technologies since 1980. The laboratory was part of the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology at the University of Hawaiʻi, and was originally funded through a cooperative agreement from NOAA.

The main work horses of HURL were the Pisces IV and Pisces V submersibles. The subs were maintained at hangar and shop at Makai Research Pier located at Makapuʻu Point on the east coast of the island of Oahu, which is 15 miles from Honolulu. Operations at sea were conducted from the support ship R/V Kaʻimikai-o-Kanaloa (KoK) and occasionally from a catamaran-style submersible Launch, Recovery, and Transport (LRT) platform that acts like a submersible aircraft carrier for the subs. The KOK was decommissioned in early 2018 after 25 years of service and the submersibles have been suspended from operation until further notice. In place of the Pisces subs, the UH Marine Center, located at Pier 35 in Honolulu, now operates a 6000 m rated ROV, Luʻukai, (meaning "deep sea diving" in the Hawaiian language). The Luʻukai now carries on the legacy of HURL in deep-sea exploration and research.

HURL has supported marine research projects relating to deep water marine processes, ecosystem structure and function, fisheries, as well as assessments of resources and human impacts on the islands, seamounts, and atolls in the Pacific Ocean. In addition to it's scientific research, HURL made numerous archeological and historical findings dating back to their first discovery of a Navy WWII Dauntless dive bomber in 1984. Most noteworthy of HURL's discoveries was the WWII Japanese midget sub sunk by the USS Ward the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack. This significant historical discovery brought to light what been a mystery since that fateful morning. You can now learn about the Ward Midget sub and all of HURL's other discoveries in HURLS's Maritime Heritage Archive which provides descriptions and images of numerous submarines, aircrafts, ships, automobiles, amphibious vehicles and other interesting artifacts.

Areas of submersible operations have included the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the U.S. Line Islands (e.g., Kingman, Palmyra, Jarvis), Johnston Atoll, American Samoa including Rose Atoll, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Phoenix Islands (e.g., Howland, Baker), and the international waters of Tonga and New Zealand. Wet diving operations sponsored through HURL have extended that reach to Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. Many of these areas are now part of a network of marine national monuments. Work in these locations is especially critical because very few deep-sea investigations have been carried out on these remote waters and island flanks.

HURL Regions of Service

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