Shortly after a 101-meter ferry left drydock, its rudder started showing wrong readings. An underwater inspection uncovered that the rudder was not calibrated correctly and that its movements did not match the readings. An emergency underwater operation was needed. For this reason Hydrex mobilized a diver/technician team to the vessel to carry out the repair in Ullapool, Scotland.
After arriving on site, the Hydrex team performed a detailed underwater inspection of the rudder. This revealed that the rudder stock was severely damaged, making it impossible to readjust the rudder. In consultation with the classification society and the manufacturer, it was decided that removing the rudder was the only option.
The Hydrex divers then secured the 5 ton unit with chain blocks and carefully lowered the rudder. It was then lifted ashore to be inspected. Because the necessary repairs could not be done on-site, going back to drydock was required. The rudder was therefore transported to Liverpool where it would be repaired and waiting to be reinstalled on the ferry when it came into dock as well.
It was unfortunate that the vessel had to go back to drydock so soon, but thanks to the Hydrex team the owner and the representatives of the manufacturer and the classification society could get a full reality of the damage. This allowed them to make an informed decision regarding the best solution for the problem. At the time of writing, the ferry has left drydock and is safely sailing between the Scottish ports of Stornoway and Ullapool again.