The United States Navy has been training mammals such as sea lions, dolphins and whales for underwater work.
GV Bay in Hawaii
CU Sea lion in cage
SV Seals released into water (3 shots)
SCU Seals swimming under water
LV Ship off southern Californian coast
SV Missile fired from ship
SV Divers used for normal recovery watch missile path
SV Missiles seen under water
SV Three navymen in rubber boat
SV Seal seen in water from below and climbing out into dinghy (2 shots)
CU Seal pushes rubber disc with nose
SV Locking ring given to seal which then submerges (3 shots)
SV Underwater shot of seal diving
CU Line fed out from above
SV Seal continues dive and attaches locking ring to missile(2 shots)
SV Men on surface take up slack
CU Missile begins to move
SV Seal rises to surface end reenters dinghy (2 shots)
SV Missile being lifted
SV Tethered seal led away
SV Missile hoisted out of water
SV & CU Seals feeding from buckets
Initials OS/000 OS/028
original colour on 12260/71 72ft
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United States Navy has been training mammals such as sea lions, dolphins and whales for underwater work.
This film, released by the Navy and made available through NBC, shows one experiment with a sea lion off the California coast. The film is sent with natural sound and commentary by NBC Reporter Roy Neal for alternative use if required.
SYNOPSIS: In Hawaii, the United States Navy has been training sea lions and other mammals, such as dolphins and whales, to help man. This film, just released, shows how well some of the animals perform. Sea lions swim better than humans. They dive deeper, work longer and are paid off in fish.
For this test, a missile was fired into the sea off the coast of southern California. The rocket was equipped with a small sound transmitter which enabled a sea lion to locate it under water. For a normal recovery, the navy would use four human divers, and a lot of special equipment. This on took a rubber boat, three men and a sea lion.
The sea lion locates the rocket from the sound, then pushes a rubber disc aboard the dinghy to let his trainer know. He's then fitted with a special looking ring attacked to a cable and sent down to connect it to the rocket. The Navy says sea lions can get down to depths of 500 feet. In this case, the see lion reached a depth of 180 feet.
As remarkable as this demonstration with the sea lion is, the United States Navy has conducted more advanced experiments with aquatic mammals. But much of this work remains on the highly classified list. It id known, however, that a few dolphins were used off the coast of Vietnam for underwater surveillance. And there are strong indications that sea lions, dolphins and whales can be used for mine laying and even as weapons carriers against enemy ships and submarines.