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Friday, August 6, 2021 

Bureau Veritas (BV) and service provider MaDfly (Marine Drone Services) have successfully completed the first full in-water ship’s hull survey with a mini ROV on Brittany Ferries’ ro-pax 'Bretagne'.

The survey, which was supervised by Bureau Veritas on behalf of the French Flag, provided an opportunity to validate the integrity of the entire ship’s hull’s bottom. Efficient underwater inspections of shipping vessels are playing an increasingly important role for the industry as a substitute for docking surveys at agreed intervals or occasional surveys of hull damage.

This inspection was believed to be the first of its kind, with the test survey performed twice. A remotely operated drone performed an in-water survey with a BV surveyor onboard the vessel. In parallel, BV tested the capability with its own remote inspection solutions using full HD live video footage from MaDfly. This offered the possibility for BV to carry out the survey remotely via live streaming, without any attended surveyor onboard, as well as video and audio recording and photo options.

Bureau Veritas has noted the following benefits of using this system: 

  • Safer operations as divers do not have to be in the water
  • Reduction in preparation time - with a single operator and limited equipment
  • High-quality pictures from the drones
  • Reduced risk of disturbance to ship operations

MaDfly CEO, Thierry Guillot, said: “MaDfly’s team is delighted to be the first company in the world to achieve a vessel survey with a mini ROV for Bureau Veritas. Even more for a Brittany Ferries’ vessel as they supported us from the very first day. New technologies are improving daily to achieve more and more maintenance services in a safer and more cost-effective way.”

Arnaud Le Poulichet, Technical Director, Brittany Ferries, said: “Brittany Ferries has always invested in research and development and this partnership is a success. This underwater inspection with a mini ROV demonstrated the technical relevance of this method and reduced the inspection time.”

Laurent Leblanc, SVP Technical & Operations, BV Marine & Offshore, said: “Underwater remote surveys improve safety and reduce risk, time and costs to produce high-quality results. Maintaining the integrity and safety of a ship is a crucial task. Today, technology brings digital classification to another level, providing new opportunities and options to our clients.”

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