Travis Miles spent most of Monday on a boat, sailing past the devastation on the Jersey Shore in a quest to retrieve something that he and others hope will help warn people about the power of future storms.

Miles, a PhD candidate in oceanography at Rutgers University, and his fellow researchers headed 30 miles off Seaside Heights, NJ, a town crippled by Superstorm Sandy, to retrieve an underwater glider that collected data about how the ocean behaved before, during and after the storm.