The most amazing and daunting thing about working in the water is how unpredictable it may be, both in terms of the environment and what it can present. One story from CNN documents how an accidental encounter has led to a potentially major marine life discovery.
Off the coast of Catalina Island in California, a specimen has been found that is making waves among news outlets. An oarfish measuring more than 18 feet in length was found in the sand under 15 feet of water. Normally, oarfish are known to dwell much deeper than that, near the bottom of the ocean.
Marine biologist Jasmine Santana found the creature's body while she was snorkeling in the area. Diving insurance is important in these situations because there's no telling how much equipment or manpower will be needed to lift specimen like this from the ocean, or what injuries might occur as the extraction happens.
The plan is to keep the 18-foot body preserved and study it. The fish also reportedly weighs 400 pounds, and weight can be a deceptive part of this sort of situation. A release from the Catalina Island Marine Institute quoted by CNN emphasized the importance of this discovery and its implications.
"It is believed that oarfish dive over 3,000 feet deep, which leaves them largely unstudied, and little is known about their behavior or population," it said.
Much attention will be on whoever finds something this rare, and the facilities and vessels needed for preservation and transportation need to be protected as well with marine insurance policies, even if they don't happen far from land.