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Images: Float 312, Where Are You?

Christine and Leo Yeomans of British Columbia found float 312 while snorkeling east of Andros Island in the Bahamas. They contacted WHOI, recovered the float, and sent pictures that scientists will examine to see how the float was damaged, and why it beached. (Photo by Tria Giovan, Tria Giovan Photography)

Jim Valdes, a WHOI engineer who designs and builds floats used for ocean research, estimates that fewer than three floats a year go missing. So he was "totally floored" when, in a single week, a tourist and a fisherman found two floats (similar to these in his lab) and contacted WHOI. (Photo by Amy Nevala, WHOI)

Argo, a multi-national science observation program, provides data about the upper areas of the ocean using a fleet of floats dotting the globe. They spend most of their life at depth and surface to make the temperature and salinity profile measurements. The floats are contributed by many countries, but all data are freely available. (Illustration courtesy of the Argo Program/University of California at San Diego)

Float 312 was launched several hundred miles east of Jacksonville, Fla. in June 2004. It floated more than 1,000 nautical miles before it beached in the Bahamas in January 2005. Colored dots show locations where it surfaced temporarily to transmit data via satellite. The blue line marks its track. (Illustration courtesy Breck Owens, WHOI)

Float 393 was deployed west of the Virgin Islands and north of Barbados in December 2004. It circulated offshore the Lesser Antilles for about 1,000 nautical miles before it was picked up by a curious fisherman in late January, 29 miles south of Barbados. Colored dots show locations where it surfaced. The blue line marks its track. (Illustration courtesy Jim Valdes, WHOI)