Innovative Underwater Repair of an ICCP System

Shearwater Marine Services, with its 30 years of experience and extensive surface and subsea engineering capabilities, successfully completed a unique project involving a full repair of an Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) system. Typically, these repairs are conducted via dry docking, but due to limited availability, Shearwater completed the works alongside a dock with the underwater replacement section. The company's innovative solution saved the client time and money and ensured the longevity of the system for the vessel at sea.


Impressed Current Cathodic Protection systems are crucial for maritime platforms to mitigate the risk of corrosion. However, the repair of these systems traditionally requires dry docking. This conventional approach can be expensive and time-consuming, and sometimes not feasible due to docking space availability. Shearwater Marine Services, with its deep-rooted experience in servicing the Royal Navy Fleet, was tasked with the challenge of repairing an ICCP system alongside a dock, carrying out the replacement section underwater.


The main challenge in this project was conducting the underwater repair without the use of a dry dock. The technical repair underwater required a dry space to allow the technician to terminate cables appropriately, and adhesion methods had to be applied in the dry and monitored. This unprecedented task also involved ensuring that all connections were watertight to withstand depth water ingress to the cables.


Shearwater Marine Services designed and manufactured an underwater dry space, which was light, neutrally buoyant, and could be secured effectively to the platform's hull. This innovative solution allowed for cathode change-outs and the correct underwater repair methods. The company's surface technician, armed with appropriate training and the best techniques, conducted all cabling repairs. The dry space creation and the innovative testing methods for checking the repair integrity established Shearwater as the preferred contractor for cable repairs and change-outs.


The results of this project were groundbreaking. For the first time, to Shearwater's knowledge, a full repair of an ICCP system was conducted underwater for the Navy. The underwater dry space, specially designed and produced by Shearwater, made it possible for a technician to perform the necessary repair to the cabling and control the environment to produce a sound connection. A fully functional check was conducted upon completion of the repair, and the platform went to sea with the entire system operational. This innovative solution not only saved the client time and money but also ensured the system's longevity at sea.


This case study showcases Shearwater Marine Services' innovative approach to problem-solving, technical expertise, and commitment to delivering value to clients. The company's successful underwater repair of an Impressed Current Cathodic Protection system has set a new standard in the industry. By leveraging its extensive experience, innovative engineering capabilities, and rigorous testing methods, Shearwater was able to overcome significant challenges and deliver a first-of-its-kind solution that ensured the operational efficiency and longevity of the ICCP system for the platform at sea. This accomplishment further underscores Shearwater's position as a leading provider of marine services to the Royal Navy Fleet and beyond.

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