Rescue and salvage ship

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Rescue and salvage ships (hull classification symbol ARS) are a type of military salvage tug.[1] They are tasked with coming to the aid of stricken vessels. Their general mission capabilities include combat salvage, lifting, towing, retraction of grounded vessels, off-ship firefighting, and manned diving operations.[2][3][4][5][6] They were common during World War II.

List of rescue and salvage ships of the United States Navy by class[edit]

The following ship classes have been designated under the ARS hull classification symbol in United States Navy Service.

Lapwing-class minesweeper conversions[edit]

The Lapwing-class salvage ship USS Discoverer (ARS-3) as USC&GS Discoverer c. 1935

The earliest designated United States Navy salvage ships (ARS) were converted Lapwing-class minesweepers. Ships of this type were operated by the United States Navy as salvage ships from June 1941 until USS Viking was decommissioned and scrapped in 1953.

Diver class[edit]

The Diver-class salvage ship USS Safeguard (ARS-25)

The United States Navy operated Diver-class rescue and salvage ships (ARS) from October 1943 until the last example was decommissioned in July 1979. Several ships of this class were converted to other uses, and USS Shackle remained in service as the 213' United States Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Acushnet until March 2011.[7]

Miscellaneous civilian vessel conversions[edit]

Several ships were converted and redesignated as salvage ships (ARS) during World War II.

Anchor class[edit]

The Anchor-class rescue and salvage ship USS Restorer (ARS-17)

The United States Navy operated Anchor-class rescue and salvage ships (ARS) from October 1943 until March 1946.

Weight class[edit]

The Weight-class salvage ship USS Swivel (ARS-36).

The United States Navy operated Weight-class rescue and salvage ships (ARS) from August 1943 until the last example was decommissioned in June 1946. The Weight-class ships were originally intended for delivery to the Royal Navy under different names, as part of the Lend-Lease program. However, they were instead delivered to and operated by the United States Navy.

Bolster class[edit]

Bolster-class rescue and salvage ships (ARS) were operated by the United States Navy from July 1944 until the last example was decommissioned in September 1994.

Safeguard class[edit]

The Safeguard-class salvage ship USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52)

Safeguard-class salvage ships (T-ARS) are operated by Military Sealift Command in support of United States Navy operations. They were operated by the United States Navy as commissioned auxiliaries from November 1982 until the last example (Safeguard) was decommissioned in September 2007.[6][9]

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

  1. ^ http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/s_ARS.htm Naval Vessel Register: "SALVAGE SHIP"
  2. ^ USS Salvor Command History 1986
  3. ^ USS Grapple Command History 2002
  4. ^ US Navy Fact File: Rescue and Salvage Ships T-ARS
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/37/37idx.htm NavSource Photo Archives: Rescue and Salvage Ship (ARS) Index
  6. ^ a b http://www.msc.navy.mil/inventory/ships.asp?ship=188 Miltary Sealift Command Ship Inventory: Rescue Salvage Ships
  7. ^ http://coastguardnews.com/coast-guards-queen-of-the-fleet-shifts-acushnet-being-decommissioned/2011/03/11/ Coast Guard News: "Coast Guard’s Queen of the Fleet shifts, Acushnet being decommissioned"
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/smallships/auxrescue.htm Salvage and Rescue Ships (ARS, ARSD, ARST, ASR, ATS)
  9. ^ http://www.msc.navy.mil/sealift/2007/November/safeguard.htm%7CSealift "USNS Safeguard joins MSC fleet"