Fixing the Sophia D

The Sophia D, a 56,000 ton bulk carrier ship loaded with $3 million in iron ore was en route to China in January 2009 when she ran aground off the coast of Brazil. The collision had misaligned the upper and lower bore, the rudder stock could not be moved, the ship could not be steered and was towed to the island of Curacao for emergency repairs.




Parker Diving


Parker Diving contacted Bluegrass to perform the underwater rudder stock cut. Within 24 hours Bluegrass was on location with a customized diamond wire saw and specialty equipment. The technicians worked around the clock to cut the 24” thick steel stock, releasing the 50 ton, 30’ tall rudder so it could be lifted onto a barge. They did their job quickly, efficiently, and got out of the way while the repairs continued for 130 days. This job demanded the dedication of divers, welders, inspectors and engineers for 12 to 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. Finally the rudder was reinstalled, the vessel passed the sea trials and continued onward to China with her valuable cargo.