Ocean observing equipment lost from a Texas A&M subsurface mooring located about 50 miles south of Louisiana has turned up — unfortunately it doesn’t seem like it will be coming home anytime soon, according to Dr. Anthony H. Knap, Director of the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) and Professor of Oceanography, who  found that several pieces of his group’s equipment were being sold on the Internet auction site eBay. According to the seller, the items were found washed up on the beach after a hurricane.

An Aanderaa Recording Current Meter (RCM) Doppler Current Profiler, worth about $35,000, was sold for $3,550. A Teledyne Benthos Model 866-A Transponding Acoustic Release, worth $25,000, was sold for $1,025. Also sold were a RBR Solo T Temperature Logger, for 99 cents, and an SBE 39plus Temperature (P) Recorder for $17.50.

The Texas A&M markings were removed, but Ocean Observing Team Lead at GERG, Dr. Steve DiMarco, was able to identify the items based on eBay pictures that included their serial numbers.

“We notified the seller that the equipment was ours, but it was sold anyway,” said Knap. “Now, we want to put the word out to the ocean observing community in case they were the buyers. We do want the equipment back. The buyers should also be aware that it is illegal to sell state equipment across state lines and so we’ve had to notify law enforcement.”

Anyone with information about the sensors or their buyers can contact Knap at tknap@geos.tamu.edu  to help with the return of the instrumentation.