It is essential to conduct regular inspections of the ship to maintain risks and repair damages. It is required to bring out the ship to the dry-dock, to check the submerged since it is difficult to practice inspection underwater. The underwater inspection process is conducted by qualified and commercial divers who go below the waterline and check the submerged areas of the ship. Such inspection helps to detect any problem and allows to take preventive measures and remedial actions quickly and ensures to avoid costly repairing at a later stage. 

Underwater inspection is carried out under the supervision of a classification society inspector.


In-water surveys are carried out under such situations- 

  • Before a scheduled repair
  • Assessment of the vessel’s condition when the ship is a sale, purchased or leased.
  • Complicated weather conditions, landing on a sandbank, or damage after a collision with other transport are some of the unplanned situations that require underwater inspection
  • For the transportation of goods or passengers, it requires the renewal of a license or a permit of operation.


Since underwater inspection offers several advantages. The process of underwater survey inspection is a lengthy and tedious task.

Therefore, 10 things everyone hates about underwater survey inspection are-

  1. Master’s statement
  2. Survey site
  3. Hull condition 
  4. Underwater areas
  5. Above the waterline areas
  6. Internal inspection
  7. Report
  8. Requires commercial divers
  9. Risks involved
  10. Expensive


Master’s statement

The owner’s/master’s representative is required to declare the actual or suspected damage that has happened when the previous dry-docking was done before partaking in the in-water survey. 


Survey site

The survey site needs to have good underwater visibility or rather calm and clear water. The visibility needs to be more than 2 metres high. It is important to have visibility as it becomes easy to assure whether the hull has undergone permanent set down or setup. 


Hull condition

The hull condition needs to be inspected and a reliable assessment can be prepared on the condition of the hull. The hull should be cleaned for the external survey. With the help of the pictorial presentation, the marine surveyor inspects the quality of the ship’s hull. If the condition of the hull deteriorates, the underwater inspection is discontinued especially when the communication or the transmitted pictures becomes unacceptable. 


Underwater Areas

To examine the entire vessel below the waterline, competent divers use closed-circuit television. The communication needs to be two ways, it needs to be monitored by the marine surveyors. When the vessel is in Light Operating condition, the underwater survey can be carried out. 


Above waterline Areas

The marine surveyors examine the exposed portions of the ship above the waterline. To accomplish such visual examination requires the necessary means and requirements.


Internal Inspection 

The internal inspection is conducted for the internal structure to confirm or clarify the findings where a defect or damage is suspected or detected due to the master’s statement or in-water survey. It is important to inspect the internal structures of the vessels that operate in the ice so that the areas that are prone to ice damage are looked at deeply. 



All the reports such as pertinent colour photographs, copies of the diver’s reports, and videotapes are needed to be submitted to Ship Safety Headquarters and Marine Surveyors to maintain the records. 


Requires Commercial Divers

Underwater inspection is a complex method as it is performed below the water line is conducted by professional and well-trained divers. Ship repair and maintenance services companies offer commercial divers to perform such services at an affordable rate but many people have no idea about it and hate to conduct underwater inspection services.


Risks Involved

It is suggested to conduct an underwater inspection only by hiring commercial divers since while conducting the services there are various risks involved as it is performed underwater. Therefore, the divers need to be skilled, trained and well-equipped for conducting the methods.



Underwater inspection can be considered an expensive service since it is necessary to hire a commercial diver to conduct the inspection below the waterline. Shipowners assume that professional divers charge a hefty amount and avoid conducting an underwater inspection. But a ship repair and maintenance service company provide commercial divers at an affordable rate for various services.