A UVic PhD student who lost a custom-made scientific instrument back in February, is thanking a local woman for her help in finding the device after suffering a series of misfortunes and good luck over the past 6 months.
In February, 2019, Xavier Mouy turned to social media after losing a piece of scientific equipment under the waves of Roberts Bay in Sidney.
The instrument was first placed on the seafloor of Roberts Bay on January 22nd, and was supposed to collect data on fish communication for one week.
When Mouy and his team returned for it, however, they found that the buoys it was attached to were no longer floating on the surface.
The team returned a few days later with divers, but found no trace of the device, which featured state-of-the art hydrophones and an underwater camera .
Found, lost, and found again
Six months after the scientific device was lost, in late July, Mouy contacted Victoria Buzz saying that the instrument’s camera had been found by a “nice lady” on the beach at Clover Point.
According to Mouy, the woman left the camera under some rocks and contacted UVic. However, when Mouy arrived the camera was gone.
Once again, the PhD student is turning to the public to help him track down his custom-made scientific device.
“I’m researching fish communication through sounds so I try to catalogue the sounds that fish make and try to identify which species has which sound,” Mouy told Victoria Buzz back in February.
“This instrument is built with several hydrophones – underwater microphones – that record the sound and are also able to localize where the sound comes from in space.”
“If we can’t find the instrument that will delay my PhD significantly,” Mouy said.
On Friday, July 19th, Mouy’s fears were relieved when the same woman who found the device contacted him again, saying that she located the instrument further along the beach where she had left it.
The custom-made underwater device is now back in the hands of Mouy. Fortunately, data from the camera is still recoverable, even after months exposed to the elements.