The hull is one part of a ship that requires constant maintenance and care for the ship to continue to operate safely and in accordance with the law. This means that every so often thorough inspections must be carried out that are highly recommended to be performed in the water.
Mare Commercial Diving (MCD), a company from the Prosertek Group, has just being approved as a supplier of submarine services to ships (In Water Surveys). This followed a thorough assessment process of quality systems, administrative protocols and work procedures.
Those responsible for accrediting it are the main Classification Societies such as the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Bureau Veritas (BV), Det Norske Veritas-Germanischer Lloyd (DNVGL), Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai ‘ClassNK’ (NK). They have have certified that MCD’s technical staff, facilities and equipment meet international standards to perform underwater inspections of ships.
This inspection allows MCD to expand its range of services for the shipbuilding industry, since underwater inspection in lieu of dry-docking, (UWILD) allow ships to avoid costly berthing in dry dock to carry out mandatory periodic inspections. In other words, it is a much faster and less expensive process than the dry dock alternative.
The importance of in water survey
A ship must be inspected on a regular basis to assess the condition of the hull. This can be done by either dry-docking, which is costly and time-consuming, or by in Water Survey, that allows the ship to be inspected while it is moored at the quay, without the need to remove it from the water.
An in water survey examines a ship’s hull for damage, organic build-up, or any other abnormality. This type of inspection performed by specialised divers in the presence of a Classification Society inspector. It is very useful to find out the degree of fouling of the hull, as well as to find damage such as cracks, broken welds and rivet problems, for subsequent repair or cleaning. In short, to determine potential problems and maintenance needs.
An underwater inspection involves the gathering of a lot of graphic material such as photographs and videos of the ship’s hull, including the diver’s observations. All of this makes it possible to reach a better conclusion about the real condition of the hull.
Underwater inspection services for ships
Beyond the legal obligation, this kind of inspection is also in great demand to check for damage to the hull or carry out inspections due to the sale of the ship and to check that it is in good condition.
In Water Survey can also be accompanied by other services provided by MCD. This is the case of propeller polishing, a service that allows the propeller to slide more efficiently through the water and generate a higher speed as well as better fuel consumption.
Other submarine services to ships offered by MCD are cleaning of water inlet gratings, replacement of echo sounders and logs, replacement of anodes and other small repairs by oxy-cutting or underwater welding.