Emergency Ship Repairs - Atlantis Australia

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In late June 2012 the heavy lift vessel EIT Palmina encountered problems off the WA coast. The vessel's propeller shaft had sheared inside the housing, rendering the vessel inoperable. An ocean going tug was sent to rescue the vessel and towed it into Fremantle Harbour. With the vessel safely alongside, Fremantle Commercial Diving and Atlantis Australia commenced initial inspections. After consultation with the client, it was decided to attempt to change out the propeller shaft without dry docking the vessel, to our knowledge, an operation that had not previously been attempted anywhere globally before.

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Four days of 24 hour operations were required to remove the rudder, propeller and the damaged section of propeller shaft. The stern of the vessel was lifted as high as possible through ballast and fuel management to prevent water entering through the open shaft housing. The operation involved cutting the propeller shaft and executing complicated rigging sequences to remove the 17 tonne propeller without damaging the vessel.


Following initial works the vessel was towed to Albany Port. Atlantis Australia arranged for a new propeller shaft to be fabricated and flown to Perth on a chartered cargo plane and then road transported to Albany for installation.

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The new shaft was successfully installed in a complex operation involving multiple cranes, barges and vessels. Following this the variable pitch propeller and rudder were re-installed and commissioned. The vessel sailed from Albany Port on October 2012, after this successful, world first operation.