Experience with the drill ships Discoverer Seven Seas and Penrod 78 explains some of the problems associated with the use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for underwater operations. Support services are a bigger problem than depth. The author describes developments, such as the new guidewire methods, side launch A-frame davit, and top hat stabilizing frame. All parts of the ROV system must be of heavy duty design, and operative skill is of paramount importance. The major requirements for deep water ROVs are reliability, fail-safe redundancy, cage deployment, compact size, adequate power, and capacity for heavy intervention work. 8 figures.