The Advantages of Underwater Marine Services

It goes without saying that routine maintenance is essential in the maritime industry. From ensuring ports are running efficiently to successfully managing crucial offshore infrastructure, marine engineers and experts alike often emphasise the significance of routine maintenance, inspections and repairs for vessels and other infrastructure operating within the sector. It is these critical, seemingly invisible actions that guarantee fuel and energy efficiency, reduce damage and downtime and of course, increase the operational productivity of ocean going vessels in the industry.

While some tasks can be carried out by seafarers themselves, othersare best left to the experts – especially those completed below the waterline. Commercial divers,for example, are often hired by operators and owners within the sector to complete underwater hull inspections and repairs while vessels are still afloat. Referred to as underwater marine services, this specialist kind of maritime service boasts a wealth of advantages for the sector and is commonly utilised when dry docking isn’t an option.

So what are underwater marine services? And what are the benefits for the sector as a whole? The answer lies in improved productivity, less downtime and more efficient day-to-day operations.

What are underwater maritime services?

Underwater marine services are services and solutions carried out underneath vessels and other crucial infrastructure below the surface of the water.

Underwater marine services are important because they allow operators within the maritime industry to complete maintenance, routine inspections and repairs with very little disruption. In situations when other options are too time-consuming or costly, underwater marine services can be particularly helpful in reducing downtime and boosting productivity. For example, for a task as simple as removing creatures like plants, algaeor small animals from the hull of a vessel, an owner/operator can utilise underwater marine services rather than opting for a more time-intensive process such as dry docking.

Tasks and processes

Within the maritime industry, there is a long list of components, assets and infrastructure that need routine upkeep, cleaning, and repair. Underwater marine services include:

  • Surveys and inspections – Vessel surveying and inspections can be done using underwater marine services. By lessening operational disturbances and removing the need for dry-docking altogether, conducting surveys with divers can save owners/operators both time and money.
  • Hull cleaning – Once marine fouling begins to accumulate on a vessel’s hull, it is extremely difficult to locate. As a result, it is crucial a hull is cleaned periodically to remove slime build-up rather than allowing heavy growth, such as barnacles and mussels. Failure to do so can result in turbulence, cavitation and even noise pollution which can impair the functionality of a vessel’s speed logs, sonars and other sensors located on the hull.
  • Propeller polishing – Propellers should be polished regularly to lessen the surface roughness brought on by the accumulation of marine fouling, which happens when organisms like mussels or seaweed stick to vessels. A smooth propeller surface keeps marine organisms from attaching and compromising the efficiency of the vessel, which improves operational performance.
  • Underwater engineering – Underwater engineering deals with more intensive repairs and maintenance on a vessel below the waterline. It’s a crucial service that plays an important role in maintaining the structural integrity and efficiency of a vessel.

The advantages of underwater marine services

While some activities can be accomplished by seafarers themselves, others are best left to the professionals. Underwater marine services boast a plethora of benefits for the industry and are frequently used by owners/operators looking to cut costs and ensure operational continuity.

Efficient & safe

The main goal of underwater inspections is to make sure a vessel and other subsea infrastructureare safe to use. The structural integrity of a ship,for example, can be jeopardised by fractures, dents, corrosion and leaks. This is because a large portion of the hull is below the surface of the water and continually exposed to the elements.

Subsea infrastructure is also prone to inefficiency as a result of the accumulation of debris and other leftover particles found in the ocean. Therefore, it’s crucial to frequently inspect a vessel for any potential damage. This kind of maintenance can be carried out utilising underwater marine services, the existence of which means inspections and repairs can be made quickly with minimal downtime.

Environmentally sustainable

The marine contaminants and corrosive particles released from a damaged and/or poorly maintained hull can pollute our oceans and endanger marine habitats. Therefore, a dirty or damaged vessel can have an effect on water quality as well as marine life and seafood stocks.

As a result, underwater marine services are essential in the management of ocean waste. The protection of marine life from toxic chemicals and fuel spills can be achieved through routine underwater inspections.

Final thoughts

So what precisely are underwater marine services? What are the advantages for the maritime industry as a whole?

Maintenance plays a crucial role in the day-to-day operations of the maritime sector, from ports and onshore infrastructure to the ships and vessels that transport the world’s cargo and support the global economy. As a result, regular maintenance, inspections and repairs are crucial for both onshore and offshore infrastructure operating in the sector. This is because they guarantee efficiency, as well as prevent any damage and increase the productivity of ocean going vessels and other important infrastructure in the sector.

While some maintenance jobs can be completed by seafarers themselves, it is preferable to leave other, more complicated jobs, to the professionals – particularly those operating below the waterline. Companies, operators and owners in the marine sector will commonly employ commercial divers to perform underwater hull inspections and repairs on their ships while they are still at sea. These specialised underwater marine services allow the industry to complete routine inspections and maintenance with the least amount of downtime. From hull and propellor cleaning to complex subsea repairs, the contribution of underwater marine services to the sector’s overall efficiency and productivity should not be overlooked.


Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.