The search for the girls Anna and Olivia, who disappeared like their father more than a month ago, with a sonar and an underwater robot incorporated into the oceanographic vessel “Ángeles Alvariño” will continue until next week, sources from the investigation.
In total, there will be between eight and nine days of uninterrupted 24-hour search in an area of about ten square miles, off the coast of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, that the ship of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography has been scrutinizing since last Sunday.
The area, agreed by the Civil Guard and ship’s personnel, is the one delimited by the geopositioning of the mobile phone of the girls’ father, Tomás Antonio GC, who went to sea twice on the night of April 27, when he was lost the trail.
He embarked alone, without the company of the girls, and before he loaded suitcases and bags from his vehicle, for which he had to make three trips.
On his return from his first foray into the sea, he was intercepted by the Civil Guard and proposed for sanction for skipping the curfew.
The agents did not find anything suspicious in Tomás’ boat, since at that time the mother had not yet reported the disappearance of her daughters.
Then, after midnight, it set sail again and hours later the boat was found empty, adrift and without anchor in front of the Puertito de Güímar.
On board the Ángeles Alvariño there are always two agents of the Judicial Police of the Civil Guard, who direct the investigation, who take turns every few hours, since the search under the sea takes place day and night.
This oceanographic vessel carries out a multibeam probe survey with which, at a reduced speed, it carries out several passes over the same point, thereby increasing resolution.
The multibeam probe allows mapping with a precise bathymetry that will facilitate the subsequent work of the underwater robot, according to the information provided by the Civil Guard.
In this sonar prospecting work, parallel streets will be established that will overlap to cover the entire surface to be explored.
During this recognition, marks will be established in the irregularities of the bottom that require a visual inspection a posteriori.
This inspection will correspond, if necessary, to the Liropus 2000 unmanned robot, with the capacity to operate and collect samples beyond 2,000 meters of depth, although if it is properly adapted it can work up to 3,000 meters.
In total there are 22 units of this model of underwater robots operating in the world.
It has 6 motors, combines great power and a large load capacity that allows it to carry, in addition to six types of cameras, measuring and sampling instruments.
In recent years it has been used on several occasions to recover scientific material that had been lost.
One of its strengths is its ability to take images.
It is equipped with a powerful lighting system with 17,000 lumens of power (17 times more than a 100-watt bulb), and high-performance cameras, one of them with high definition (HD format) and the other with very low luminosity.
For taking samples, it has two precision hydraulic manipulator arms for the collection of solid elements and a suction system for liquid and gaseous samples.