On May 10, 2019, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) based at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology redeployed its wave buoy outside of Tanapag, Saipan, after it broke free from its mooring during Super Typhoon Yutu in October 2018.
The wave buoy was adrift for more than six weeks. In December 2018, approximately 800 nautical miles into the Philippine Sea, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia, stationed in Guam, recovered the buoy in challenging ocean conditions while patrolling the high seas.
- Related UH News story: PacIOOS wave buoy recovered after drifting 800 nautical miles, February 4, 2019
The yellow wave buoy provides valuable wave and ocean information. Data on wave height, direction and period, as well as sea surface temperature, are transmitted in real-time and are publicly available online.
“We are so grateful for the U.S. Coast Guard’s support and effort to recover the drifting wave buoy. Without their partnership, we would have lost this important ocean observing instrument,” said PacIOOS Director Melissa Iwamoto. “The buoy is now back on station and we are excited to continue to provide high-quality data to our stakeholders in Saipan and the region.”
The Tanapag wave buoy is one of three PacIOOS wave buoys in the Mariana Islands; the other two are located off Ritidian Point and Ipan in Guam. Wave buoy data benefit a large variety of ocean users, agency officials and community members to make safe decisions. Fishermen, surfers, commercial tour operators and many others regularly check the data to get a better understanding of the ocean conditions.
Read the full story on the PacIOOS website.
—By Fiona Langenberger