In September Hydrex has carried out bow thruster blade replacements on a 366-meter container ship in Rotterdam.
The speedy repair was done during unloading. Our divers performed the operation underwater using one of our own workboats based at the Antwerp depot.
This made it possible for the owner to keep his vessel out of drydock.
The team mobilized from the Hydrex headquarters in Antwerp after all basic preparations had been made and the needed equipment was loaded onto one of the Hydrex workboats.
The Hydrex catamarans are fully equipped as dive support stations with hydraulic cranes, winches, nautical and communication equipment and a dive control room. They can be used for a wide range of operations in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France, permitting even more rapid deployment from the Antwerp depot.
This increases flexibility of operations and helps to keep costs down for the client.
The owner of the ships had the luxury of being able to schedule the blade replacements well in advance.
This allowed the Hydrex technical department to get a team on the road before the vessel arrived. As a consequence, the diver/technicians were ready to start the operation as soon as the ship was berthed.
The new blades were prepared for installation on the deck of the workboat. Meanwhile the rest of the Hydrex team readied the bow thruster tunnel for the replacement.
The Hydrex flexible mobdocks were then installed on both sides of the thruster tunnel. Next the team could evacuate all water from the tunnel.
In this manner a dry working environment was created.
The diver/technicians then removed the first blade of the bow thruster.
They brought it to the surface. A replacement blade was then lowered into the water and taken to the thruster tunnel. The team positioned the new blade on the bow thruster and secured it with bolts.
This procedure was repeated for the other blades.
After the blades had been replaced, the divers removed the flexible mobdocks, which finished the repair.
During the replacements a local representative of the bow thruster manufacturer was present.
He supervised the operations and gave his approval.
In cases like these, timing is of the highest importance. Hydrex team members are trained to carry out the approved procedures within a short time frame. Only a very skilled and efficient team can perform this kind of operation without mistakes or delays. The bow thruster blade replacements in Rotterdam were carried out during loading/unloading. The operation was concluded well before the end of these commercial activities.
This allowed the container vessels to leave Rotterdam again perfectly on schedule.
Press Release, October 18, 2013