• Fast underwater bow thruster blade replacement in Rotterdam during commercial activities

    Fast underwater bow thruster blade replacement in Rotterdam during commercial activities

    07/12/2012

    In recent months Hydrex has carried out bow thruster blade replacements on several occasions in Rotterdam. Three 366-meter container ships belonging to one owner were given the same speedy treatment during unloading. More ships are scheduled for the same operation in the upcoming months.

    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 same procedure was used during each of the operations. The new blades were lowered from the deck onto the workboat with the ship’s crane. Meanwhile the rest of the Hydrex team prepared the bow thruster tunnel for the operation.

    The Hydrex flexible mobdocks were then installed on both sides of the thruster tunnel. Next the team could remove 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. This finished the repair.

    During each of 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 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 or unloading. The operations were concluded well before the end of these commercial activities. This allowed the container vessels to leave Rotterdam again perfectly on schedule.

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