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Rescue and Salvage Ships - ARS

Description: Rescue and salvage ships render assistance to disabled ships, provide towing, salvage, diving, firefighting and heavy lift capabilities.

Features: The mission of the rescue and salvage ships is four-fold: to debeach stranded vessels, heavy lift capability from ocean depths, towing of other vessels, and manned diving operations. For rescue missions, these ships are equipped with fire monitors forward and amidships which can deliver either firefighting foam or sea water. The salvage holds of these ships are outfitted with portable equipment to provide assistance to other vessels in dewatering, patching, supply of electrical power and other essential service required to return a disabled ship to an operating condition.

Background: The U.S. Navy has responsibility for salvaging U.S. government-owned ships and, when it is in the best interests of the United States, privately-owned vessels as well. The rugged construction of these steel-hulled ships, combined with speed and endurance, make these rescue and salvage ships well-suited for rescue/salvage operations of Navy and commercial shipping throughout the world. The versatility of this class of ship adds immeasurably to the capabilities of the U.S. Navy with regard to rendering assistance to those in peril on the high seas.

Point of Contact:
Public Affairs Office
Naval Sea Systems Command (OOD)
Washington, DC 20362

General Characteristics, Safeguard class

Primary Function: Firefighting, combat salvage, rescue towing, diving
Builders: Peterson Builders
Power Plant: Four Caterpiller 399 Diesels, two shafts, 4,200 horsepower
Length: 255 feet (77.7 meters)
Beam: 51 feet (15.5 meters)
Draft: 16 feet 9 inches (5.11 meters)
Displacement: 3,282 tons (3,334.67 metric tons) full load
Speed: 14 knots (16.1 miles, 25.942 km, per hour)
Endurance: 8,000 miles (12,872 km) at 8 knots (14.824 km/hr)
Salvage capability: 7.5-ton capacity boom forward; 40-ton capacity boom aft
Heavy lift: Capable of a hauling force of 150 tons
Diving Depth: 190 feet (57.9 meters), using air
USS Safeguard (ARS 50), Pearl Harbor, HI
USNS Grasp(T-ARS 51), Little Creek, Va.
USS Salvor (ARS 52), Pearl Harbor, HI
USNS Grapple (T-ARS 53), Little Creek, Va.
Crew: 6 officers, 94 enlisted
Armament: Two .50 caliber machine guns; two Mk-38 25mm guns
Date Deployed: August 16, 1985


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