In-water rudder repair completed after storm damage

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After the rudder of a 132-meter dry cargo vessel was severely damaged during a heavy storm it came loose and was swinging dangerously from side to side during sailing, hitting the ship’s propeller. The ship was unable to sail any further. A Hydrex diver/technician team mobilized to St. Malo, France to perform an emergency repair operation.

A thorough underwater inspection revealed that the rudder was positioned in the portside angle. Several bolts and rings were missing from the steering gear of the rudder. The team then pulled the rudder to a zero angle and installed a temporary stiffener to keep the rudder in position – this allowed the manufacturer to safely open up the rudder from the steering room.

It was then clear that the steering gear was completely broken and needed replacement in drydock, where damage to the propeller would also be repaired. To enable towing the Hydrex team reinforced the temporary stiffener with a full weld and installed seven additional stiffeners, securing the rudder in the neutral position, allowing safe towing to drydock.

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