Rescue and salvage ship
Rescue and salvage ships (hull classification symbol ARS) are a type of military salvage tug. 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. They were common during World War II.
The following ship classes have been designated under the ARS hull classification symbol in United States Navy Service.
Lapwing-class minesweeper conversions
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.
- USS Viking (ARS-1)
- USS Crusader (ARS-2)
- USS Discoverer (ARS-3)
- USS Redwing (ARS-4)
- USS Warbler (ARS-11)
- USS Willet (ARS-12)
- USS Brant (ARS-32)
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.
- USS Diver (ARS-5)
- USS Escape (ARS-6) (Converted to USCGC Escape (WMEC-6))
- USS Grapple (ARS-7)
- USS Preserver (ARS-8)
- USS Shackle (ARS-9) (Converted to USCGC Acushnet (WMEC-167))
- USS Protector (ARS-14)
- USS Cable (ARS-19)
- USS Chain (ARS-20) (Converted to USNS Chain (T-AGOR-17))
- USS Curb (ARS-21)
- USS Current (ARS-22)
- USS Deliver (ARS-23)
- USS Grasp (ARS-24)
- USS Safeguard (ARS-25)
- USS Seize (ARS-26) (Converted to USCGC Yocona (WAT-168))
- USS Snatch (ARS-27) (Converted to USNS Argo (T-AGOR-18))
- USS Valve (ARS-28)
- USS Vent (ARS-29)
- USS Clamp (ARS-33)
- USS Gear (ARS-34)
Miscellaneous civilian vessel conversions
Several ships were converted and redesignated as salvage ships (ARS) during World War II.
- USS Assistance (ARS-10) (canceled)
- USS Rescuer (ARS-18)
- USS Accelerate (ARS-30)
- USS Harjurand (ARS-31)
- USS Tackle (ARS-37)
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.
- USS Bolster (ARS-38)
- USS Conserver (ARS-39)
- USS Hoist (ARS-40)
- USS Opportune (ARS-41)
- USS Reclaimer (ARS-42)
- USS Recovery (ARS-43)
- USS Retriever (ARS-44) (canceled)
- USS Skillful (ARS-45) (canceled)
- USS Support (ARS-46) (canceled)
- USS Toiler (ARS-47) (canceled)
- USS Urgent (ARS-48) (canceled)
- USS Willing (ARS-49) (canceled)
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.
- USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50)
- USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51)
- USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52)
- USNS Grapple (T-ARS-53)
- ARS-54 (unnamed, canceled)
- http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/s_ARS.htm Naval Vessel Register: "SALVAGE SHIP"
- USS Salvor Command History 1986
- USS Grapple Command History 2002
- US Navy Fact File: Rescue and Salvage Ships T-ARS
- http://www.msc.navy.mil/inventory/ships.asp?ship=188 Miltary Sealift Command Ship Inventory: Rescue Salvage Ships
- 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"
- http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/smallships/auxrescue.htm Salvage and Rescue Ships (ARS, ARSD, ARST, ASR, ATS)
- http://www.msc.navy.mil/sealift/2007/November/safeguard.htm%7CSealift "USNS Safeguard joins MSC fleet"