Underwater inspections of vessels are done on a regular base in the harbours of Antwerp, Flushing, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Zeebrugge or Gent.  With a properly applied underwater inspection, shipping companies avoid costly underwater repairs. Zeeland Underwater Work (ZEEUW) in the Netherlands is such a service supplier on a daily base.


ZEEUW diver enters the water for a vessel inspection

So, what is involved in underwater inspection of vessels?

There can be many reasons to organize a vessel inspection.


  • A tugboat wich lost power of one propeller.
  • A small inland vessel struggling with a rope in the propeller. Click here to view a post about this topic.
  • A coaster with a blocked water intake.
  • A general cargo vessel with a leakage in the double bottom.
  • A container vessel which has to perform an in water survey.


Underwater propellor and rudder inspection in the dry                         photo credits:  Van der Velden Marine Systems


An in-water survey briefly explained: 

The first concern is to find a dive company that performs the work in a good way at a good price. This service supplier must be qualified according to IACS certification bodies to be able to carry out water surveys. The qualification process: qualification of divers and materials, competence documents, training plans, procedures and guidelines, etc. A surveyor of a qualifying body is present during the inspection. To perform an acceptable inspection, sufficient underwater visibility is needed. And safety measures are important. Risks assessment and dive permits must be applied in the right way.


checking of sea-chest during underwater inspection
Checking of sea-chest during underwater inspection


The diver inspects the vessel for damage by grounding, ice damage, collisions and cracks etc. He checks bio-fouling, coating and corrosion levels. Anodes are assessed, and the seachests are checked for sufficient water flow. Possibly there is pintle clearance, and stern bush measurements to be taken. Video and photos are important in underwater inspections. Close-ups are made when details need to be visible. And the determination of corrosion pitting or cavitation. Damages are securely measured and reported.


underwater inspection
Damage found during propellor inspection


Video and photos are important in underwater inspections. Close-ups are made when details need to be visible. And the determination of corrosion pitting or cavitation. Damages are securely measured.


Cavitation damage found during underwater rudder inspection


Bending and cracking of blade tip during underwater propellor    inspection


Reporting of underwater inspections.

This is where you as a customer pay for. Expect a  report with clear information. Completed with pictures and video footage.
You want to know the status per component. So you can take the necessary measures in case of damage or for future maintenance. ZEEUW develops standard underwater inspection methods for your vessels. These can be used for every inspection, wherever your ship is located in the world. And whichever dive company is performing the survey. This includes a template that contains all the parts listed, with timestamps when they are inspected. This template can be supplemented with dry dock photos and general arrangement drawings. Video’s which are made during the inspections, can be real-time viewed by the surveyor on mobile devices. These videos are also accessible over the internet to be viewed by several parties like ship owner, surveyor and dive contractor.


Report structure with links to video files


Inspection criteria

A reporting template contains the following features:

  • Particulars of the ship, hull drawings and dry dock photos, if available.
  • Project info;
  • Per component a timestamp with links to video and photos;
  • Links to criteria, permits, standards (if required);
  • Connection with biofouling records (if required);
  • Propellor sheets to mark anomalies.

Viewing, delivery and storage of inspection results:

  • Real-time video viewing by dive supervisor, surveyor, ship owner and dive contractor over the internet.
  • Multimedia reports send by file transfer service or cloud storage.

About Zeeland Underwater Work:

Diving company ZEEUW B.V. is situated in Zeeland in the Netherlands. We are a flexible dive company , and therefore able to help our clients with their underwater challenges in an efficient way. We carry out diving work in the area Rotterdam, Moerdijk, Antwerpen, Gent, Terneuzen, Vlissingen. And beyond. ZEEUW employees completed many assignments worldwide in inspection work or other diving activities.

ZEEUW BV has fully equipped diving vans. We handle all kinds of underwater work. A team of experienced divers, inspection engineers and other professionals are at your service. We deliver the following services:

  • Underwater inspections of ships, quay walls, foundations, construction pits.
  • Underwater welding and cutting.
  • Sealing of seachests or other hull apertures.
  • Ultrasonic wall thickness measurements.
  • Biofouling, coating and corrosion inspections.
  • General underwater inspection, repair and maintenance work.

General number: +31 113-402020
Web: www.zeeuw.pro
Mobile: +31 653869870

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