Classification society RINA has completed the world’s first statutory class survey on a bulk carrier using remote technologies
It used an autonomous aerial vehicle to carry out an intermediate survey inspecting the hull, tanks, cargo hold and machinery on a ship operated by Italian owner d’Amico Group. This was witnessed by Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), which then authorised RINA to certify ship Cielo di Gaspesie.
RINA used a drone to conduct close-up surveys of ballast tanks and cargo holds, removing the need for scaffolding and rope work to enable an inspector to do a physical survey.
Other shipowners could benefit from remote inspection technologies for class surveys on their vessels, said d’Amico group fleet director Salvatore d’Amico. “Our long-lasting relationship with RINA and with LISCR is leading to excellent results useful for all the shipping industry,” he said.
RINA Services chief executive Paolo Moretti said this year’s coronavirus pandemic has increased demand for surveys using these remote technologies. “The shipping industry is going through a permanent change,” he said. “The Covid-19 emergency has just accelerated the already growing demand for remote services from the industry.”
“From the beginning of the pandemic, the request for remote inspections has tripled compared to the previous period,” Mr Moretti continued.
RINA can stream video from the drone and analyse its data, generating benefits for class and vessel owners. “Thanks to our app and live streaming technology, not only is safety guaranteed, but also the time taken for inspections is optimised,” said Mr Moretti.
“Remote technologies reach a level of detail that the human eye cannot and allows RINA’s specialists attending onshore to carry out an even more detailed inspection of the vessel,” he added.
Cielo di Gaspesie is subject to the enhanced programme of inspections set by the international ESP Code.
RINA expects LISCR’s recent approval of remote inspection technology will lead to other ships sailing under this flag undergoing remote class surveys and for other flag administrations to follow LISCR’s lead and enable remote surveys to be conducted on their ships.
Following the completion of the survey, Cielo di Gaspesie was assigned the new class notation REMOTE by RINA. This new notation identifies the ships deemed by RINA to be eligible to be surveyed remotely for the largest scope of class surveys.
ESP Code provides requirements for an enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of single-hull and double-hull bulk carriers and oil tankers, in accordance with the provisions of SOLAS regulation XI-1/2 and in line with the International Association of Classification Societies’ UR Z10 series.
Other class societies have developed remote inspection technologies. In June, DNV GL and Scout Drone Inspection completed the industry-first inspection of an oil tank on a floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
They inspected a 19.4-m high oil tank on Altera Infrastructure’s Petrojarl Varg as the latest step in qualifying this technology for remote inspections on other ships.
Bureau Veritas conducts technical and safety assessments using remote technologies. It has seen an escalation in remote inspection, certification, examination and verification services in the offshore industry.
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