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R/V MANTA docked at Texas A&M Galveston

R/V MANTA is available for use by agencies and institutions for a limited number of days each field season, dependent upon sanctuary and partner schedules. Project requests are assessed based on their applicability for intended use of the vessel.

Does your project fit within the scope of use of this vessel?

  • Does it address management needs of FGBNMS?
  • Does it address scientific needs of FGBNMS?
  • Does it address educational needs of FGBNMS?
  • Does it address regional needs of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS)?
  • Will it be conducted within R/V MANTA's primary operational area (northwestern Gulf of Mexico)?
  • Will it be conducted within R/V MANTA's regional operational areas (southwest Texas, eastern Gulf of Mexico)?

If one or more of these questions can be answered with a "yes," you may request shiptime by completing a Vessel Request form and submitting it to our Vessel Operations Coordinator.

Vessel Request form (68kb pdf)

If not, is is unlikely that your project would be considered for use of R/V MANTA.

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Looking down the starboard side of R/V MANTA toward the stern to see the wake behind the boat underway.
R/V MANTA underway


Once your project is placed on the R/V MANTA schedule, LTJG Park will work with you to make arrangements for payment of vessel time.

Vessel costs include a base day rate plus a fuel charge for each trip and payment is coordinated through the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

Details of the costs of the cruise will be passed along to the Foundation and your organization will be billed after the cruise has taken place.


Thirty (30) days prior to the cruise dates, a draft cruise plan must be submitted to the Vessel Operations Coordinator for approval.

R/V MANTA Cruise Plan (65kb pdf)

Letters of Reciprocity and Scientific Diver Liability forms must also be submitted at this time.

Scientific Diver Liability form (21kb pdf)

Five (5) days prior to the cruise, a final cruise plan with participant list must be submitted to the Vessel Operations Coordinator.

A man demonstrating how to don a life vest.
A safety briefing takes place at the start of every cruise

Two (2) days prior to the cruise, all participant Emergency Contact forms and Safety Awareness Aboard forms must be submitted to the Vessel Operations Coordinator.

Emergency Contact form (270kb pdf)

Safety Awareness Aboard form (567kb pdf)

Post-Cruise Summary

Within fourteen (14) days after the cruise, a Post-Cruise summary must be submitted to the Vessel Operations Coordinator.

R/V MANTA Post-Cruise Summary (153kb pdf)

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Additonal information about R/V MANTA is available from the following pages:

Research Vessel page

Vessel Specifications page

Welcome Aboard page

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Small, knobby corals in foreground; boulder of brain coral in background.  Long, fingery branches of purple sponge anchored in knobby corals and standing upright.
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