Vessel repair firm Hydrex has reported a major repair to a ship at Rotterdam.

The team of divers and technicians replaced a bow thruster for an OEM without using a drydock.

Hydrex bow thruster replacement

Hydrex bow thruster replacement operation

The diver and technician team took all necessary equipment with them on one of their workboats, which are all fully equipped with hydraulic cranes, winches, nautical and communication equipment a well as a dive control room.

The team set up a monitoring station, then divers inspected the bow thruster and tunnel while initial preparations were made in the engine room to remove the unit.

”The divers’ first action was to take off the external thruster tunnel grids to provide access for removal of the old unit,” says Hydrex. ”Next, pad eyes were welded inside the tunnel to hoist the thruster unit up and down.

”The next step was to secure the gearbox with hoisting equipment. The team then disconnected the unit from the engine room, removed it from the thruster tunnel and brought it to the surface.

”We carried out the operation in close communication with the OEM involved. They provided a new thruster unit and prepared it for installation on-site.

”Because the thruster was fully assembled and prepared, it could be installed in its entirety without the need to create a dry environment in the tunnel as is required when the blades are installed separately. Our diver/technicians lowered it into the water and brought it into the thruster tunnel. The team secured the unit and connected it to the engine room.

”The operation ended with the removal of the pad eyes and the reinstallation of the thruster tunnel grids.”

Hydrex has stations in Antwerp and Rotterdam, which enables rapid deplpyment and increases flexibility, the firm says.

Because it performed the repair onsite, the owner was able to keep the vessel out of the drydock, reducing the time required for the repair to be carried out and allowing the ship to sail on schedule.