A Hydrex diver/technician team was mobilized to Le Havre, France to perform an emergency rudder repair operation of a 250-meter crude oil tanker.
After arriving, the Hydrex team performed a detailed inspection of the rudder. This revealed that the rudder pintle needed to be removed to perform a permanent repair. The stormy weather conditions in Le Havre could cause the rudder to move, which would make it impossible to reinstall the pintle on-site.
For this reason it was decided that the ship needed to be towed to the nearest available drydock, in Brest for permanent repairs.
The Hydrex team pulled the rudder to a zero angle. They also took the exact measurements needed to fabricate four securing plates that would fully lock the rudder in the neutral position. Once the plates were delivered, they were modified by the team to the correct size. Next they installed the stiffeners on both sides of the rudder. This would prevent the rudder from moving and causing further damage while the ship was towed.
Upon completion of the operation, the ship could be towed safely to Brest for permanent repairs.
Because of the extent of the damage to the steering gear, drydocking was the only option for this ship. In most cases, however, in-house developed rudder repair techniques allow Hydrex to perform permanent repairs while the vessel remains at anchorage.