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All researchers planning to dive in the submersible Alvin, including Mike Tryon, a post doctoral scholar in geology at the Scripps Institute, were required to try on the sub’s emergency oxygen masks during a safety meeting Sunday evening. “They look really corny, but they could potentially save your life,” said Bruce Strickrott, a pilot of the submersible.

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Once Alvin is in the water, swimmer Carl Wood (left) communicates with Pilot Bruce Strickrott on a phone in the sail (the sub’s orange top portion). Bruce lets the swimmers know that it is OK to release safety lines that secure the sub’s front basket, used to collect rock samples and carry instruments, as Alvin is lowered into the sea. Joining Carl is Anthony Berry, an electrical technician and Alvin pilot in training.

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