Under Keel Clearance Survey

What is Under Keel Clearance?

Under keel clearance refers to the minimum clearance available between the deepest point on a vessel and the seabed.

Under Keel Clearance

Why Conduct Under Keel Clearance Surveys?

In commercial shipping and recreational boating, under keel clearance is critical for the safety of vessel movements and navigation. The consequences of a vessel running aground have the potential to be catastrophic; therefore, maintaining a safe under keel clearance is crucial.

To maintain a safe under keel clearance you need an accurate model of the bottom of the water body. This can be achieved using a Multibeam Echo Sounder (MBES). Improving the accuracy of your surveyed model for under keel clearance may grant the ability to increase the draft of commercial vessels. This can result in substantial financial benefits for ports.

Do You Know the Four Standards?

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) sets standards for hydrographic surveys around the world.  The four standards set by the IHO are:

Special Order Surveys

According to the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) a Special Order survey is mandatory where under keel clearance is critical. This order of survey can only be achieved using a MBES. 

Total Hydrographic’s Special Order Survey Experience

  • Total Hydrographic own and operate an MBES capable of achieving an accuracy that satisfies IHO’s Special Order requirements
  • We undergo regular professional training to ensure we are at the forefront of industry awareness
  • We undertake annual under keel clearance surveys for commercial Port Authorities

It is highly recommended (and often mandatory) that under keel clearance surveys are signed off by a Certified Level 1 Hydrographic Surveyor for commercial shipping and Certified Level 2 Hydrographic Surveyor for recreational boating. 

Under keel clearance

Total Hydrographic’s under keel clearance surveys are conducted exclusively by professionally recognised Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Hydrographic Surveyors, assessed by the Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel (AHSCP) through the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute. 

Our staff have tertiary qualifications and experience in Hydrographic Surveying, Geomatic Engineering, Marine Mapping and GIS, Cartography and National Maritime Operations.

A list of certified professionals in hydrographic surveying can be found here.

Be sure you enlist a fully certified hydrographic surveyor for your under keel clearance survey.

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