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British-led scientists make historic Indian Ocean exploration broadcast

An image taken from video issued by Nekton shows Lucy Woodall, Nekton Mission principle scientist, left, alongside pilot Randy Holt inside a submersible 60 metres below surface of Indian Ocean during a descent into the Indian Ocean off Alphonse Atoll near the Seychelles, Tuesday March 12, 2019. Members of the British-led Nekton research team boarded two submersible vessels and descended into the waters off the Seychelles on Tuesday, marking a defining moment in their mission to document changes to the Indian Ocean. The submersibles will be battling strong undersea currents and potentially challenging weather conditions as they survey the side of an undersea mountain off Alphonse Atoll. (Nekton via AP)

By David Keyton and Jerry Harmer, Associated Press

A British-led scientific mission to document changes taking place beneath the Indian Ocean has broadcast its first live, television-quality video transmission from a two-person submersible.

Monsoon storms and fierce underwater currents continued to present a challenge at greater depths as scientific work began in earnest off the Seychelles.

The first transmission came from 60 meters (200 feet) down. Previous deep-sea livestreams cataloguing the world's oceans have been via fibre-optic cable. The new broadcast uses cutting-edge wireless technology, sending video optically through the waves.

An image taken from video issued by Nekton shows a submersible from the vessel the Ocean Zephyr during a descent into the Indian Ocean off Alphonse Atoll near the Seychelles, Tuesday March 12, 2019. Members of the British-led Nekton research team boarded two submersible vessels and descended into the waters off the Seychelles on Tuesday, marking a defining moment in their mission to document changes to the Indian Ocean. The submersibles will be battling strong undersea currents and potentially challenging weather conditions as they survey the side of an undersea mountain off Alphonse Atoll. (Nekton via AP)

An image taken from video issued by Nekton shows a submersible from the vessel the Ocean Zephyr during a descent into the Indian Ocean off Alphonse Atoll near the Seychelles, Tuesday March 12, 2019. Members of the British-led Nekton research team boarded two submersible vessels and descended into the waters off the Seychelles on Tuesday, marking a defining moment in their mission to document changes to the Indian Ocean. The submersibles will be battling strong undersea currents and potentially challenging weather conditions as they survey the side of an undersea mountain off Alphonse Atoll. (Nekton via AP)

The Associated Press is the only news agency working with British scientists from the Nekton research team on its deep-sea mission that aims to unlock the secrets of the Indian Ocean, one of the world's least explored areas.

The multi-national team of scientists is gathering data to help policy-makers frame protection and conservation measures.

Nekton Mission director Oliver Steeds said the experience battling the waves underlines the need to expand scientific knowledge of the waters off the island nation, which the team is there to do.

"The problem is, when it comes to this place, when it came to the currents, the last current data that was gathered before we came here was in 1882," he said. "It's part of the challenge. This is exploration."