As COVID-19 continues to challenge many business plans and practices, the advent of remote inspection techniques is growing in popularity. What is reported to be the world’s first in-water remote ship surveys using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) have been completed by DNV GL.
In-water bottom surveys using ROVs have now been carried out on three separate Wilson ASA-managed vessels with the first having been completed on the Wilson Fedje in December 2019 by a surveyor from Høvik. The survey was performed earlier 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.
As with the two previous surveys, it was conducted in collaboration with VUVI AS, a Norwegian inspection company certified by DNV GL to perform underwater inspections for ships and offshore platforms using ROVs.
“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,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime. “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 review of hull drawings were completed the day prior to the survey. During the inspection, the surveyor used VUVI’s 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 a similar timeframe to traditional surveys, approximately two-and-a-half hours, achieving the same level of assurance as an in-person survey. DNV GL’s digital industry platform Veracity was used by VUVI AS, DNV GL and Wilson ASA to ensure secure data transfer when saving and sharing the video stream from the remote survey.
“Working in a modern world, with technologies allowing us carry out a bottom-survey without deviation or off-hire, we are really enabling a huge potential for efficiency and environmentally friendly solutions,” said Thorbjørn Dalsøren, General Director of Wilson Ship Management. “We trust this will be adapted to several more of our operations, taking advantage of digital solutions.”
“VUVI AS has since the company was founded in 2013 focused on in-water survey of vessels as one of the company’s core services,” said VUVI CEO, Frode Rødølen. “We became DNV GL certified to perform in-water inspections in 2017, and re-audited earlier this year. We are proud to have become a trusted partner by DNV GL to perform inspections with our ROV teams, and we are inspired by the fact the we contribute in the shaping of the inspection-services for the future,” continued Mr. Rødølen.