A list of traditional father-son activities tends to include football, camping and fishing - but what about building an underwater robot? 

Over the past four months, that's exactly how Gorleston man David Crowe and his seven-year-old son have spent their free time, by assembling a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV).

The project was inspired by the boy's visits to his dad's workplace, EEL (Exploration Electronics Ltd), a Beccles-based company specialising in marine equipment hire.

Mr Crowe, 34, said: "He gets to see a lot of technology other kids wouldn't - and at the office one day he was sat at the computer, drawing an ROV, and said he wanted to build one."

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The ROV can explore and investigate underwater by relaying video back to a tablet screen. The ROV can explore and investigate underwater by relaying video back to a tablet screen. (Image: David Crowe)

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Their ROV can be used for underwater investigations and sink to a depth of 50m.

It was built using "fairly accessible items and low cost components" and consists of four underwater thrusters, controllers for the motors and an underwater camera with a built-in light that can be operated remotely. 

The controller itself has three joysticks, switches for turning on the ROV and camera, and a built-in tablet for viewing and recording the camera view live.

Mr Crowe said the project showed that "if you've got an idea and you want to do it or build it, you can".

"Making ROVs or things like that, that sort of level of engineering, seems out of reach for a lot of people

"My son often comes up with project ideas. This is to show kids that when they have these ideas, they can do them. That's what I want to teach him as a dad."

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Mr Crowe also hopes the project will kickstart interest among local schoolchildren for the offshore industry around Great Yarmouth

He has already been in touch with his son's school, Wroughton Academy, about the project.

"The awareness of the offshore sector is very low really. I don't think there's enough interest with kids about the opportunities on our own doorstep," he said.

Mr Crowe also thanked local company Scorpion Oceanics who donated underwater connectors.