Zulu Discovery: Furthering Efficiencies in Environmental Remediation

A barrage of hurricanes, tornados, and storms continues to hit the US in quick succession, often leaving a trail of destruction behind. In the aftermath of these catastrophic events, once the danger has passed and the threat to human life is over, the assessment of the damage to property and evaluation for recovery begins. The Department of Homeland Security with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) typically float a tender for the contractors to bid on cleaning debris and dredged materials. With a dearth of on-field personnel to oversee and babysit the recovery projects, managing and monitoring the debris remediation processes prove to be a herculean task for the state agencies.

In addition, finding a trusted vendor to perform recovery operations quickly and at the right price, while adhering to safety protocols was a challenge in itself—until Zulu Marine Services stepped into the picture. “We provide that perfect professionalism and price point because we are using the right technology and equipment purpose-built for the job that we’re doing,” says Rusty Batey, Principal, Zulu Marine Services, Inc.

Contracting with local, state and federal agencies, as well as private businesses, Zulu provides a wide range of services, to include marine operations, such as derelict vessel and vegetative debris removal, disaster response, watershed recovery, chemical spill response and other man-made disasters, as well as ROV and side scan sonar underwater mapping capabilities. Their fleet of vessels are purpose-built to maximize their capabilities and new equipment is frequently added, such as the recent purchase of an airboat, which allows for minimal damage in wetland applications. Zulu also has an Air division which provides Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) services, to include industrial and infrastructure inspections, worksite monitoring, and aerial imaging and mapping. This technology is also frequently used on the marine side of the business as well in locating and mapping debris and assessing damage and other hazards aerially.

Combining UAV technology with their custom, purpose-built vessels, and underwater sensing technology allows the Zulu team to safely conduct risk assessment and determine the scope of the project or disaster.

The culmination of Zulu’s technologydriven tools is their online project portal, a complete business toolbox in a single unified platform designed to facilitate all customer interactions in one place. “We document the whole project from cradle to grave, which enables our stakeholders to view the project in its entirety. In a nutshell, our biggest benefit is using technology to provide accountability and visibility of the project,” Batey says. Going far beyond a repository of images, the portal has a breadth of cool features. Along with viewing images and video, users can also map where the images were taken and angles from the exact geolocation, as well as generate measurements and run reports.


With the latest technologies and purpose-built equipment we provide full-service and timely response. Time, technology, and talent drive our efficiencies

“The portal is a big differentiator, allowing us to share progress and information with our customers and deliver enhanced efficiencies. With the latest technologies and purpose-built equipment we provide full-service and timely response. Time, technology, and talent drive our efficiencies,” states Batey.

Batey mentions an event showcasing their technology prowess in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Georgia, “Our amphibious excavator removed 110 concrete docks in 11 days as opposed to a traditional method that would have taken probably 60 days.” Zulu Marine has also participated in a momentous project as a salvage subcontractor for Golden Ray, the huge container ship that capsized in Georgia. The team is crewing oil spill response vessels and supporting debris removal operations.

With an exemplary record for offering debris remediation in the wake of natural catastrophes, it is hardly surprising that the company is winning major bids for such projects across Georgia, Florida, and both North and South Carolina as well. Zulu’s future roadmap has continued enhancements mapped out for their UAV technology and the online portal. Moving forward, Batey envisions their drone technology helping drive more efficiency in terms of mapping and quantifying the debris post-storm to quickly assign the right equipment for debris removal. The goal is also to add purpose-built equipment for their recent venture into the dredging business. The team is using a brand new custom dredge alongside their UAV and sonar technology to assure accuracy in volume calculations of how much dredged material is actually gathered out of the dredge site. Additionally, they have a remote camera technology set up on the spoil site, which will enable the dredge operator to view the spoil site from within his cabin while the Zulu leadership team oversees operations on deck.

“We continue to add new technology and talent to our existing model to keep driving efficiencies and find new ways to overcome challenges in our environment,” concludes Batey. “Because the storms are going to keep coming.”

Company
Zulu Discovery

Headquarters
Savannah, GA

Management
Rusty Batey, Principal

Description
Zulu performs offshore operations, including research, recovery, and exploration using advanced technology and purpose-built equipment. Contracting with local, state and federal agencies, as well as private businesses, Zulu provides a wide range of services, to include marine operations, such as derelict vessel and vegetative debris removal, disaster response, watershed recovery, chemical spill response and other man-made disasters, as well as ROV and side scan sonar underwater mapping capabilities. Launching of their drone division advances Zulu Discovery’s offerings to a whole new level. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and airboats allow the Zulu Discovery team to safely conduct a risk assessment to critically determine the scope of the disaster

Zulu Discovery