In early July 2012, on the 75th anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, members of Phoenix International Holdings, USA, set sail from Hawaii in support of a search effort led by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).
The target of the search was Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E aircraft.
After years of research, TIGHAR theorised that the plane went down near the island of Nikumaroro, an atoll roughly 1,900 miles southwest of Hawaii.
Phoenix’s role was to search one square mile of the seabed from 50 to 4,000 feet off the northwest side of the island.
To conduct the underwater search, Phoenix deployed its new BlueFin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and a leased Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from Submersible Systems.
The underwater search team consisted of five Phoenix AUV operators / ROV technicians, two BlueFin AUV technicians, and two SSI ROV technicians.
After a nine-day transit aboard the research vessel Ka`imikai-o-Kanaloa (K-O-K), the team arrived at Nikumaroro and commenced undersea search operations.