Press Releases

June 19, 2007
The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

Drift of TRITON Buoy No.16

Today, TRITON Buoy(*1) No.16 (refer to Fig.1,2) belongs to the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC; Yasuhiro Kato, President) has been confirmed drifting away from its mooring spot.

1. Current condition

At 18:09, June 17 (Japan Time), the buoy is drifting 30km northwest from deployed spot of 2N, 130E. With its satellite communication device, we are continuing to determine the buoy's location. However, the transmission intensity is weakening.

2. Possible cause

At this deployed location, buoy drift occurred frequently because it was towed by a ship or vessel. We consider that the same way happened in the current case; it was pulled by force of a ship or vessel and the mooring rope (nylon) was cut off so that it drifted away.

3. Future plan

Location of the drifting buoy has been determined and we are continuing to observe it. And on June 17, we have asked the Japan Coast Guard to warn ships and vessels around about the danger of a collision or interference by the drifting buoy. Recovering method and time are now under consideration.

*1 : TRITON Buoy:
TRITON Buoy is the oceanographic observation buoy deployed mainly around the equator (some are deployed in the Indian Ocean) by JAMSTEC.
It observes sea water temperature, salt density up to 750m depth at regular intervals. It also observes wind, atmospheric temperature, humidity, precipitation, insolation and current. Observed data is provided through satellite; and contribute to the study of El Nino and Dipole Phenomenon and the accuracy of climate prediction such as typhoon onset.


Mr. Ishihara or Mr. Yamaguchi
Long-term Observation Group, Department of Applied Ocean Engineering
Marine Technology Center (MARITEC)
Mr. Shinji Oshima, email;
Manager, Planning Department, Press Office