Underwater ROV for Mooring Inspections!


Kevin and Carrie Fawcett and their two daughters recently returned to Niue for a visit. Kevin was one of original members of NYC. Kevin and Carrie have managed the club’s website, membership and burgee sales off the island for over 20 years.  In the early days, members would send a check in US$ to the club. It cost as much as the membership to clear the checks, so they would be sent to USA and deposited there. Kevin and Carrie owned and operated Niue Dive. Kevin started Niue Dive with the help of Terry Coe, another of the original NYC founders. Terry was the ‘original’ dive operator on Niue. Carrie arrived on Niue with the US Peace Corps.

Twenty year later, in 2018, the Fawcetts brought their daughters were back to see where their parents met and visit their Niuean family and friends.

For Kelly Fawcett, the trip also marked the completion of a two year project. In 2016, Kelly had just completed a summer marine camp at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. At camp, Kelly was introduced to underwater ROVs. After listening to her father talking to Keith and Terry about the problem of inspecting moorings, Kelly asked if an underwater ROV could do the work.  Kelly researched and found an ROV startup that might fit the NYC requirement. She was able to get into the OpenROV beta program and run tests locally testing suitability of the ROV to do inspections for the NYC.

Kelly raised some of the funds towards the unit and covered the cost of her trip to San Francisco to visit where the units were being built. While in SFO, a NYC USA Club Member was able to arrange a visit for her to meet Richard Jenkins and view the craft at SailDrone. While walking across Golden Gate Bridge she watched Humpback whale feeding below. The trip reinforced Kelly’s passion for the ocean and environment. Kelly is currently at North Carolina State University’s School of Engineering looking to major in Environmental Engineering.

The club assisted funding the ROV with funds from GoFundMe project. On Niue, it can be difficult to ask local divers to conduct numerous dives inspecting moorings when they need that ‘bottom time’ to be able to run their business. The ROV will allow a non-diver to visit the moorings, do a visual inspection, and call on a diver if there is an issue found.

Taking out a NYC Membership or making a financial donation assists with projects to keep the NYC open for visiting yachts. If you would like to help, then please use the website and PayPal to join other NYC members or make a donation. Funds are used to periodically replace the wharf webcam and replenish the mooring fund for NYC.