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Port Authority Vessel Inspections? Go Remote

Amanda Coulas   |   January 10, 2017

The risks involved with Port Authority Vessel Inspections and how going "Remote First" can not only save time and money but also reducing the risk endangering a life.

New vessels arriving in your port bring many economic benefits. However, from the surface, it is impossible to know what could be hiding below the water lines on their hulls. Unidentified attachments could pose an ecological or security threat to your jurisdiction. Invasive species, drugs or contraband can be hidden or inadvertently attached to any ship entering your harbor.


Vessel arrival inspection requirements vary by port and by region. Generally, when a ship arrives, documentation is required for the vessel and crew. An inspection of the cargo and confirmation of sealed discharge valves will also be undertaken.

What about the hull and surfaces under the water? 

Most often, port regulations do not consider inspecting a ship's hull. As a terminal manager, it is of utmost importance to ensure the safety and welfare of your port and personnel. When one considers the magnitude of drug and weapons trafficking1, it is important to be proactive against these activities.

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Understandably, having a diver on standby to assess the constant traffic of vessels arriving and departing may not be realistic, efficient or cost effective. It may even be dangerous to place a human life in an unknown environment where potential contraband or weapons could be stored.

Deploy a ROV to perform quick, safe and affordable hull inspections

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Going "Remote First"

What can a port authority do to improve their security and environmental control? The increasingly popular term “remote first”, is pushing more and more port authorities to use Deep Trekker underwater drones (ROVs) to complete hull inspections of incoming vessels.

Spot checking key areas of a vessel where invasive species or contraband may be easily hidden is an efficient way to quickly process vessels entering port. Areas such as bulbous bows, rudders or thruster openings are easily accessible to a Deep Trekker ROV. They can be quickly checked by one operator and images can be recorded for future documentation.


Deploying a Deep Trekker underwater drone won’t create an undue delay for a vessel entering port. With a 30 second set up and activation time, one operator can easily deploy the ROV overboard for inspections and then pilot it from the handheld controller. The internal batteries provide up to eight hours of inspection time, and with a 270-degree rotating camera - any port authority can efficiently ensure vessels transit safely through their harbor. 

The Ultimate Hull Inspection Vehicle:

In addition to the added safety of a port security ROV from Deep Trekker, port authorities also have the opportunity to offer hull inspections as a service to the small and large vessels in their harbor. The condition of anti-fouling paint, potential hull damage that may require attention, or recovery of lost items are all great ways to offer a value-added service at your port.

Want to learn more? Contact us today for your no-obligation quotation.


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