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Alvin's Basket

When the submersible Alvin ascends from a day’s work at the seafloor, its payload basket in front is usually filled with samples of mud, rocks, or organisms collected by pilots and scientists. That isn’t a problem in water, but the payload becomes heavy in air. So before Alvin is hoisted from the ocean and onto the deck of the research vessel Atlantis, members of the ship’s crew, called “swimmers,” attach safety ropes to the basket to support it. Patrick Neumann, left, and Allison Heater accomplished the task on after a dive in March 2014 on Alvin's first expedition since it underwent a major upgrade. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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