SubSea Solutions Alliance Provides Quick Fix - Underwater

Tuesday, July 09, 2002
With offices in key locations at the world's busiest cruise ports, the Subsea Solutions Alliance can be at the scene of an emergency repair on a moment's notice. If a repair happens to be one that requires more diver technicians than are available at one location, additional personnel are then brought in from the other Alliance members. While the relationship between Miami Diver, All-Sea and Trident spans 15 years a formal alliance was not established until earlier this year. According to Kevin Peters president of Miami Diver, there was no doubt in his mind that the alliance would not have been an immediate success. "Because of this venture, we now have more locations and more trained personnel to serve the cruise industry," Peters said. The Subsea Solutions Alliance has responded to and carried out emergency repair for cruise ships from Miami to Alaska, from Europe to Australia and Asia. Recently through members of the Subsea Solutions Alliance a blade change was carried out on a cruise ship in the Port of Venice, a stern seal repair was done on another cruise ship in Alaska, a stabilizer repair on another cruise ship in Peru, a propeller repair in Miami along with a bowthruster repair for a cruise ship in Australia. While Peters' goal is of course to provide state-of-the-art repair solutions that are cost-effective, he would also like to continue providing cruise lines with maintenance support of their fleets. "Our focus for the last 10 years has been on cruise ships," Peters said of Miami Diver. "Since many of these vessels were built in the 1980's, they will need to be maintained. In addition, many experimental, or innovative equipment has been added so therefore more problems could occur, and when this happens, the Subsea Solution Alliance will be called. Gone are the days where a ship had to go into a drydock and risk missing precious moneymaking days at sea. A quick call to any of the Subsea Solution Alliance members allows the vessel to have all its work completed, with out delay to the vessel. Depending upon the complexity of the job the personnel may travel with the vessel and perform repairs while the vessel moves to a variety of ports. An example of this was (from March 22 - April 9, 1996) when wake modifiers were installed on the trailing edges of the primary strut arms on a new cruise ship that was experiencing a "singing" noise that could be heard inside the staterooms. The noise, according to Peters was the result of a design flaw in the vessel's strut during original construction. As the vessel pulled into various port locations, such as San Juan, St. Thomas and Santo Domingo, the divers went to work beneath performing hyperbaric weld modifications — in accordance with the vessel's classification society — Det Norske Veritas. Each day, divers would begin welding the wake modifiers by stripping down the coating system on the trailing edges of the primary struts down to the bare metal, via the use of hydraulic grinding tools. Once the welding procedure was completed, each trailing edge piece was allowed approximately two hours cooling time while covered with an asbestos blanket. Each weld seam was then examined with magnetic particle where it revealed no signs of irregularities — deeming the vessel ready for regular operation. Another great benefit of the Alliance other than having a larger group of highly skilled technicians available world wide is that repair work in progress can start in one Alliance members area and be completed in another Alliance member's area. For example, recently a cruise ship called Miami Diver with concerns about the vessel's bowthruster. Miami Diver carried out the initial inspection, diagnosed the problem and presented a repair procedure and schedule that would work in conjunction with the vessel's schedule. The second part of the repair was carried out in L.A with Miami Divers L.A. office and finished in Vancouver and Alaska by the All-Sea office in Vancouver. What Does The Future Hold? The Subsea Solutions Alliance has recently developed equipment and procedures to carry out stern seal replacement underwater. To date several cruise vessels that have experienced stern steal problems have been able to avoid unscheduled dry-docking by utilizing the Alliance's underwater stern seal repair systems. The Subsea Solutions Alliance via Miami Diver is the authorized underwater seal repair facility for Blohm+Voss in Germany. In addition the Subsea Solutions Alliance performs underwater straightening of ship propellers world-wide as network members of Lips Propellers exclusive underwater repair licensee Subsea Propeller Inc Through Miami Diver the Subsea Solutions Alliance also plans to put maintenance contracts in place with several of the major cruise lines, and already has a commitment from Royal Caribbean to perform propeller polishings on their vessels every six months. According to Peters, the benefit of this simple maintenance task provides the owner with a significant amount of fuel savings, as it lessens the amount of fossil fuel burned by the vessel. The Subsea Solutions Alliance performs "check ups" on each cruise vessel simply by having its divers do a swim out report on major mechanicals such as thrusters, fins and propellers. "The dive out reports can prevent problems before they start," Peters said. "If we find something that we think could be a potential problem, our divers let the owners know how they can fix it." The Alliance is presently involved in underwater security inspection and is in conversation with several major cruise ship companies to provide underwater security inspection world-wide.
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