The divers started the operation with a detailed underwater inspection of the affected area. This was done under the supervision of a representative of the classification society. With the measurements taken during this inspection, a complete assessment of the damage could be made. This allowed us to create the best possible repair plan for the problem.
A 690 mm crack was found, partially covering the weld seam of the portside rudder cover plate. The crack was curved at the top and the bottom. Crack arrests had already been made at both ends to prevent it from spreading further. A more thorough solution was now needed to fix the problem.
In consultation with the class surveyor a repair plain was devised. First the Hydrex diver/technicians ground out the crack in a v-shape. They also ground the surrounding area. Then a root weld was put in the crack. Next the team filled the crack with welding beads. The repair was finalized with a steel reinforcement bracket that was installed over the middle of the affected area.
A successful pressure test was performed to make sure that the dry rudder compartment behind the crack was not compromised. The surveyor then gave his approval for the repair.
The operation allowed the vessel to sail on safely until the next scheduled drydocking.