Know the Structure

Depending upon the type of structures that require underwater inspections, commercial inspection crews will use different tools and equipment to accomplish the task. Going back to the oil platform example, there are various subcategories of this structure including fixed platforms, compliant towers, semi-submersible platforms, jack-up drilling rigs, drill ships, spar platforms, and a multitude of similar forms. Each type of oil platform will need similar equipment to exam the subsea components, but each will also require different tools to examine areas that are inaccessible to humans. For example, an underwater construction crew wouldn’t need as much deep sea equipment at a semi-submersible platform as compared to other platforms since this structure can partially rise above water. Knowing the facilities and having intimate knowledge of its construction, you will know when do you need ROV Inspections and will allow underwater inspections to proceed as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Special Tools and Equipment

There are three basic types of tools used during underwater inspections: surface cleaning, inspection, and recording tools. Surface cleaning tools do exactly what the name implies; removes marine growth and other accumulations so that a thorough and accurate inspection can occur.

Inspection tools include anything from portable flashlights and tape measures to hammers and pick axes. Depending upon the test given, underwater inspections can also include the use of calipers, scales, chipping tools, increment borer, and T-handles to determine depth of deterioration and other subsea measurements.

Recording tools and equipment are necessary so that crew members performing the underwater inspections can supply a complete overview of the structure’s condition. Simple tools, such as Plexiglas slate and china markers, are quite common for jotting down measurements and visual observations, while more complicated equipment, such as underwater photography cameras, are more common for documenting subsea surface conditions.

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