A launch, suspension and recovery technique for oceanic, in situ, 14C productivity measurements is described. Ship’s time for deployment of 125 ml incubation bottles at several depths down to 100 m is approximately 10 minutes but another half hour is required for water sampling and laboratory manipulations. Relocation from up to 9 nautical miles (16.7 km) is by inexpensive VHF telemetry transmitters and recovery is by grappling from the ship. The method was tested in the Scotia Sea, The Antarctic, during the cruise John Biscoe 2 (1980). It was found feasible to launch experiments in winds of up to 30 knots (15.4 m s−1) and recover in a wind of 40 knots (20.6 m s−) on occasion. Eleven experiments were performed in 15 days.