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SAIC, Wilbanks Purchase Sidescans

International Industries Inc. (III) has sold Klein 3000 Digital Side Scan Sonars to SAIC in Newport, Rhode Island, and to Diversified Wilbanks, Inc. of Isle of Palms, South Carolina.

SAIC will use the side scans in support of their contracts with the National Ocean Survey of NOAA. These are the third and fourth Klein System 3000 systems SAIC has purchased from III for this purpose. SAIC also is using the Klein 5500 they purchased earlier from III to support NOAA. The 3000 is expected to be ready for use in the field by January. Featuring PC-based operation with SONARPRO™ Software, Advanced Signal Processing and Transducers; the KAI 3000 provides superior imagery to the operator.

Ralph Wilbanks, owner of Diversified Wilbanks, Inc. (DWI) purchased the side scan in support of his underwater recovery business. Wilbanks is an archeologist who uses side scan, magnetometers and HYPACK and Chesapeake Technologies Inc. software in searches for cultural resources and other underwater items, as well as for the dredging and marine construction industries recovering cutterheads, spuds and other items from the bottom.

A one-man operation with one boat, Wilbanks contracts with the Corps of Engineers on beach renourishment and channel widening projects to search for culturally significant objects. He also monitors the depths of artificial reefs under construction.

Wilbanks works extensively with author Clive Cusslor, who founded the National Underwater & Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization dedicated to American maritime and naval history.

Wilbanks ran the NUMA search that discovered the Civil War submarine C.S.S. Hunley in Charleston Harbor. His next project with Cussler will be to search for John Paul Jones's ship Bonhomme Richard off the East Coast of England.

He will be at the HYPACK ‘05 conference in Hilton Head, where iXsea has chartered his boat for on-water demonstrations.

Clive Cussler and his crew of marine experts and volunteers has discovered more than 60 significant shipwrecks. His adventure and historical novels boast a worldwide readership of more than 125 million.

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