DNV GL completes remote in-water surveys using ROVs

DNV GL reports that it has completed a series of in-water remote ship surveys using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on three separate Wilson ASA-managed vessels, believed to be the first time the technology has been used for a class survey.

The first in-water bottom survey using an ROV was completed on the Wilson Fedje in December 2019 by a surveyor from Høvik, with the latest performed in July on another ASA Wilson-managed vessel in Bergen, Norway. Elias Triantafyllidis, the remote surveyor, attended the survey from the DNV GL DATE (Direct Access To Experts) hub in Piraeus, Greece.

On each occasion the survey was conducted in collaboration with VUVI, a Norwegian inspection company certified by DNV GL to perform underwater inspections for ships and offshore platforms using ROVs. 

“We are delighted to have collaborated with VUVI and Wilson ASA to deliver this exciting new approach to remote surveys,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime.

“DNV GL has been carrying out remote surveys since 2018, so this service is an extension of a broad suite of remote services that are already available.” 

“Naturally, the pandemic has pushed us to scale up the intensity of remote service delivery and we are fortunate that our longstanding commitment to digital advancement has meant we are well positioned to respond to the needs of our customers during this difficult time.”

Survey planning and a review of hull drawings are completed the day prior to the survey, when the surveyor uses sonar technology to scan the vessel’s bottom in order to locate the hull equipment, such as echo sounder sensors, speed log sensors and sea chests, while simultaneously assessing the general condition of the hull.

The in-water survey was concluded in two-and-a-half hours, a similar timeframe to traditional surveys.

Statutory and class regulations require two bottom surveys of a vessel within a five-year period, with an interval of less than 36 months in between. DNV GL says that it has recorded a 33% uplift in the weekly number of remote surveys conducted compared to pre-pandemic levels. In total, DNV GL has now conducted an estimated 17,400 remote surveys worldwide since 2018 with an average of 300 remote surveys being carried out every week.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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