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Local Drownings Spur Fundraising for Robotic Camera
A VideoRay camera found drowning victim, Clay Bishop, in one hour following three days of divers searching
By Robotics Trends' News Sources - Filed Oct 19, 2012

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First-responders and family members of a teenage drowning victim are working to raise $113,000 needed to purchase a robotic, underwater camera that can be used in rescue and recovery missions at Raystown Lake.

Authorities said 16-year-old Clay Bishop was one of four people who drowned in Marklesburg, Pennsylvania at Raystown Lake this summer.

Clay’s father Scott Bishop told 6News that a VideoRay camera, which was brought in by the OceanGate company for a demo and used to recover his son’s body, is a crucial investment to keep divers and rescue crews safe in Huntingdon County.

"It was a real additional burden on our heart and minds at the time, worrying about (divers) risking their lives,” said Bishop. “If there was access to this device, it would make that whole process 100 percent safer."

Marklesburg Volunteer Fire Company First Assistant Chief  Brian Hunsicker told 6News that that the robotic camera, equipped with sonar, a claw and a tether system, successfully located Clay’s body after extensive searches in murky water that put first responders in danger.

"In approximately an hour’s time, they had found Clay in the water. We had spent two or three days with the divers searching,” said Hunsicker.

Raystown Lake Supervisory Park Ranger Jude Harrington said old trees, fishing line and steep drop-offs contributed to the most drowning incidents recorded in one summer.

"There's a real element of danger at Raystown. The lake is deep, 200 feet. It's cold at those depths. The visibility is very poor and there are obstructions such as old trees that weren't taken out during construction."

The Mill Creek United Methodist Church is holding a pie fundraiser through Nov. 4, organizers said all proceeds will go to help purchase the VideoRay underwater camera system.



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