Sometimes the goal is to get in quick before things get worse
On average, 3,000 vessels transit the Welland Canal each year. Accidents are rare but can occur. Recently a tug and barge were transiting through the Welland Canal with a full load of cargo bound for Detroit. While underway, the tug and barge suddenly went off course, causing the barge to come in contact with the bank. This resulted in a 30-foot-long tear in the vessel’s vertical side, rupturing the ballast tank and filling it with water within minutes. Ship repairs were needed as soon as possible. The tug and barge made an emergency stop in the canal and reached out to ASI for assistance. Once on site, ASI conducted an underwater inspection to assess the extent of the damage.
Many factors needed to be addressed. The vessel had one more lock to clear before it was in the Lake. With a full load of cargo and the extra weight of water (due to the hull damage) the vessel was well over draft. The draft of a ship is the vertical distance from the bottom of the ship’s hull to the waterline.
There are draft restrictions when transiting the Welland Canal. Vessels that are over draft have the potential of touching bottom or even getting stuck in the lock. With all of these factors in mind a temporary repair plan was put together and agreed upon by all stakeholders. The plan involved having ASI fabricate a 32-foot-long steel plate that would encompass the entire hull breach. The plate would be welded in place temporarily to seal the breach.
ASI carried out the temporary repairs as planned, and the vessel was able to pump out the ruptured ballast tank and restore normal draft conditions. The tug and barge were given permission to depart and continue to their destination for discharge, then proceed to dry-dock for repairs.
Ship Repairs and Maintenance Services
ASI’s team of certified and specially trained diving crews understand the importance of providing effective and timely ship repairs and maintenance. If you want to learn more about our ship repairs and maintenance, contact us today.