In this day and age, the maritime industry is becoming increasingly diverse. With rising demand for offshore services and shipping, the sector’s owners and operators are having to streamline their operations and become more efficient as well as find new ways to innovate and get ahead of competitors. With so much technological development underway, the industry is also shedding light on new skills and career paths.
Like any car we drive or home we live in, all vessels need routine inspections, repairs and maintenance. This is especially relevant in the maritime industry where the infrastructure needed to operate contends with one of the world’s most unpredictable and dangerous natural forces – the ocean. This is where underwater marine services are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to dry-docking and other traditional processes.
Commercial diving services are in high demand in the maritime industry with a diverse range of underwater solutions now available. Each service has different types of requirements as well as highly specialised forms of expertise and experience. From underwater photography to welding and repairs, there are many risks involved with the services meaning safety considerations and compliance with all regulations are crucial.
What Are Underwater Marine Services?
Also known as subsea services, underwater marine services is a field within the maritime industry of complex technical solutions carried out underneath vessels and other important infrastructure. As the name suggests, these services are carried out below the surface of the water.
Underwater marine services have become increasingly important in recent years. This is because they allow businesses operating within the maritime industry to complete complicated tasks such as routine maintenance, inspections and repairs below the waterline. Doing so ensures the upkeep of a vessel with very little disruption to its operation continuity and can be helpful in reducing downtime.
For example, when the removal of ocean creatures such as plants, algae or small animals is needed from the hull of a ship, owners/operators can utilise underwater marine services, which are far less costly and time-intensive than other more traditional methods such as dry docking.
So what are the different types of underwater marine services?
Underwater Inspection in Lieu of Dry-Docking, which is commonly shortened to UWILD, is a popular underwater marine service often completed by commercial divers at sea to cut costs and minimise downtime. UWILD inspections act as a preventive step in the routine maintenance of a vessel and can indicate whether or not a ship complies with safety standards.
UWILD inspections make a great alternative to dry docking, which is a traditional maintenance practice that involves moving a ship into a dry dock out of the ocean, where it can be inspected, repaired and maintained. Dry docking can be hugely disruptive to the operations of a vessel, in contrast to UWILD inspections which can be carried out at sea. As a result, UWILD inspections are far more beneficial for owners and operators in the maritime sector because it saves time and money when it comes to routine inspections and repairs.
In the maritime sector, hull fouling from the ocean is the of the most common issues when it comes to maintaining the submerged structures of a vessel. Caused when marine flora and fauna come in contact with propellers or the hull of the ship, hull fouling can impact the performance and overall efficiency of a vessel, including fuel efficiency. Fortunately, underwater marine services mean routine hull cleaning can be performed regularly without disrupting the operations of the vessel.
Maintenance and Repairs
Unpredictable seas, adverse weather and long voyages can take a toll on a vessel. As a result, routine maintenance and inspections are essential for a vessel to have a long life as well as run at optimum capacity.
This kind of preventative maintenance can be carried out by a commercial diving team underwater, with services ranging from complex repairs and welding to hull and propeller cleaning.
So what are underwater marine services?
Routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs are essential to the everyday operations of the marine sector in every way, from ports and land-based infrastructure to the ships and vessels that transport cargo. This is so that oceangoing ships and other vital industry infrastructure can operate more productively through routine maintenance, much like any vehicle we drive or the home we live in.
This kind of routine maintenance is particularly important for the maritime sector because the ocean is one of nature’s most unpredictable and destructive forces. This is where dry-docking and other conventional procedures are being replaced with undersea marine services, also known as underwater marine services.
There are a number of reasons why underwater marine services might be required. Often completed by commercial divers, common tasks include searching for a lost anchor, cleaning and polishing bow thrusters and even welding that is required below the waterline. As a result, underwater marine services is a field requiring immense expertise, experience and knowledge of safety measures.
While some maintenance jobs can be completed by seafarers themselves, it is advisable to leave other, more difficult jobs to the professionals. As a result, operators and owners frequently use commercial divers to perform underwater marine services such as hull inspections, repairs and other maintenance on their ships while they are still at sea – without the need for dry docking, which is time-consuming and expensive. It’s important to recognise the contribution these types of services provide to the overall productivity and efficiency of the maritime industry.