Maiden voyage: Pit boat launches successfully

The unmanned boat Montana Resources and Atlantic Richfield Co. have planned to launch into the Berkeley Pit for close to a year made a successful trial run Wednesday afternoon, seen here in this photo. Due to sloughing on the pit’s southeast wall in 2013, it is no longer safe to use a manned boat. This watercraft was designed by Tech electrical engineering student Abdullah Alangari, with a $50,000 grant donated by both companies to Tech. Tech student Patrick Cote, in a pit overlook, used a laptop to manipulate the boat for several hours Wednesday as it took water samples. Seen here is Tech electrical engineering professor Bryce Hill making the final preparations to get the boat ready to launch.

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