Thursday, May 20, 2010

In the Navy

The U.S. Navy has apparently been making breakthroughs in training dolphins and sea lions to assist in counter-terrorism operations:
A Navy seal -- actually a sea lion -- took less than a minute to find a fake mine under a pier near AT&T Park.

A dolphin quickly located a terrorist lurking in the black water before another sea lion, using a device carried in its mouth, cuffed the pretend saboteur's ankle so authorities could reel him in.

The specially trained Navy Marine Mammals, based in San Diego, stole the show in a day of anti-terrorism training exercises held at ports throughout California....

The drills include a fake attack on a container ship at the Port of Oakland, a fake bomb explosion at the Port of Redwood City, and fake terrorist attacks in waters off Los Angeles, Long Beach, Sacramento and San Diego....

"Security is of vital importance," he said. "And humans are very slow in the water. Sea lions can see five times as well. And dolphins can use their sonar to spot items that would take humans days or weeks to find."

The marine mammal program is several decades old. LaPuzza said dolphins and sea lions were used during the Vietnam War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I'm posting about this because the BP spill in the Gulf is, truly, too depressing to even think about. Ugh.