RP FLIP (Fl oating I nstrument P latform) is an open ocean research vessel owned by the Office of Naval Researchand operated by the Marine Physical Laboratory of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The ship is a 355 feet (108 meters) long vessel designed to partially flood and pitch backward 90 degrees, resulting in only the front 55 feet (17 meters) of the vessel pointing up out of the water, with bulkheads becoming decks. When flipped, most of the buoyancy for the platform is provided by water at depths below the influence of surface waves, hence FLIP is a stable platform mostly immune to wave action, like a spar buoy. At the end of a mission, compressed air is pumped into the ballast tanks in the flooded section and the vessel returns to its horizontal position so it can be towed to a new location. The ship is frequently mistaken for a capsized ocean transport ship.