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USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52)
USS Salvor (ARS-52)
Name: Salvor
Awarded: 11 February 1982
Builder: Peterson Builders, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Laid down: 16 September 1983
Launched: 28 July 1984
Commissioned: 14 June 1986
Decommissioned: 12 January 2007
Fate: Transferred to Military Sealift Command
In service: 12 January 2007
Homeport: Pearl Harbor
Status: in active service, as of 2021
General characteristics
Class & type: Safeguard-class salvage ship
Displacement: 3,282 long tons (3,335 t) full
Length: 255 ft (78 m) o/a
Beam: 51 ft (16 m)
Draft: 16 ft 9 in (5.11 m)
Propulsion: 4 × Caterpillar 399 diesel engines
4,200 shp (3.1 MW)
2 × shafts and controllable-pitch propellers
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: Civilian crew
Armament: • 2 × Mk 38 25 mm chain guns
• 2 × .50 cal machine guns

USS Salvor (ARS-52) is a Safeguard-class salvage ship, the second United States Navy ship of that name.

Salvor was laid down on 16 September 1983 by Peterson Builders, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; launched on 28 July 1984; and commissioned on 14 June 1986.

Salvor is the third ship of the auxiliary rescue and salvage class of vessel constructed for the US Navy. The rugged construction of this steel-hulled vessel, combined with her speed and endurance, make Salvor well-suited for rescue and salvage operations throughout the world. The hull below the waterline is ice-strengthened. Her propulsion plant can develop 4200 shaft horsepower with four Caterpillar 399 diesel engines coupled in pairs to two shafts. She is fitted with a Controllable Reversible Pitch (CRP) propeller within a Kort nozzle on each shaft. The CRP propeller/Kort nozzle combination produces greater thrust and more maneuverability control than conventional propellers. Salvor is also configured with a bow thruster which provides athwartship thrust for additional control of the bow when the ship's speed is less than five knots (9 km/h). In 1995 and again in 2000, Salvor was the United States Pacific Fleet's winner of the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for most battle-ready ship of her type.

USS Salvor was decommissioned and transferred to the Military Sealift Command in January 2007. Salvor was redesignated as USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52). The ship has undergone modifications for civilian crewing as well as automation and control system upgrades at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Mission and capabilities[edit | edit source]

Like all Safeguard class rescue and salvage ships, Salvor serves as an element of the United States Navy's Combat Logistics Support Force and provides rescue and salvage services to the fleet at sea. She also supported the protection of forces ashore through post-assault salvage operations in close proximity to the shore. She is designed to perform combat salvage, lifting, towing, off-ship firefighting, manned diving operations, and emergency repairs to stranded or disabled vessels.[1][2][3]

Salvage of disabled and stranded vessels[edit | edit source]

Disabled or stranded ships might require various types of assistance before retraction or towing can be attempted. In her 21,000 cubic feet (590 m3) salvage holds,[<span title="each hold is 21,000 cu ft (590 m3) or all together 21,000 cuft? (July 2015)">Clarification needed] Salvor carries transportable cutting and welding equipment, hydraulic and electric power sources, and de-watering gear. Salvor also has salvage and machine shops, and hull repair materials to effect temporary hull repairs on stranded or otherwise damaged ships.[1][2]

Retraction of stranded vessels[edit | edit source]

Salvor and other ships towed the grounded USS Port Royal (CG-73) off a reef near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in February 2009.[4]

Stranded vessels can be retracted from a beach or reef by the use of Salvor's towing machine and propulsion. Additional retraction force can be applied to a stranded vessel through the use of up to six legs of beach gear, consisting of 6,000-pound (2,700 kg) STATO anchors, wire rope, chain, and salvage buoys. In a typical configuration, two legs of beach gear are rigged on board Salvor, and up to four legs of beach are rigged to the stranded vessel.[5]

In addition to the standard legs of beach gear, Salvor carries 4 spring buoys. The spring buoys are carried beneath the port and starboard bridge wings and are painted bright orange.[6] Each spring buoy weighs approximately 3,100 pounds (1,400 kg), is 10 feet (3.0 m) long and 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter, provides a net buoyancy of 7½ tons, and can withstand 125 tons of pull-through force.[5] The spring buoys are used with beach gear legs rigged from a stranded vessel when deep water is found seaward of the stranded vessel.

Towing[edit | edit source]

Ocean Towing Operations as USS Salvor
Vessel Location Date
AFDB 1B, AFDB 2E (floating dry docks) Subic Bay, Philippines to Pearl Harbor Hawaii (ADFB 1B) passed to USS Brunswick November- December 1987.[7]
Ex-USS Hector Pearl Harbor operating areas (synthetic line experiment) May 1989.[8]
USS Conquest Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to Kwajelein to Subic Bay, Philippines September–October 1987.[7]
Ex-USS Hyannis, USS Tunica, Ex-USS Navigator, Ex-USS Tenino Charleston, South Carolina (YTB-817 only) to Beaumont, Texas (All) to Panama Canal to San Diego, California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii August–November 1986[1][7]
Ex-USS Coucal Pearl Harbor Hawaii to SINKEX April 1990.[9]
AFDL 40 (floating dry dock) Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to Kwajelein to Guam to Subic Bay, Philippines June 1991.[10]
Ex-USS Cochrane Yokosuka, Japan to Midway to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii June 1991.[10]
Ex-USS Vancouver San Diego, CA to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii April 1992.[11]
Ex-USS Flasher Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to Bremerton Washington September 1992.[11]
USS Cimarron Hawaii operating areas to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii March 1993.[12]
Ex-USS Haddock Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to Bremerton Washington May 1993.[12]
Ex-USS Triton Rodman, Panama to Bremerton, Washington August 1993.[12]
Ex-USS Peoria San Diego, California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 1994[13]
Ex-USS Tuscaloosa San Diego, California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 1994[13]
Ex-USS Woodrow Wilson Rodman, Panama to San Diego to Bremerton, Washington September 1994.[13]
Ex-USS Richard B. Russell San Francisco, California to Bremerton, Washington October 1994.[13]
Ex-USS Silversides Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to Bremerton Washington June 1995.[14]
Ex-USS Stoddard Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to SINKEX August 1997.[15][16]
Ex-USCGC Basswood Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to San Francisco, California March 1999.[17]
Decommissioned Submarine Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to San Francisco, California July, 2000.[18]
Ex-USS Pyro Bremerton Washington to San Francisco, California August 2000.[18]
Ex-USS Okinawa San Francisco California to Bremerton, Washington August 2000.[18]
Ex-USNS Wyman Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to San Francisco, California March 2001.[19][20]
YDT 253 barge crane San Diego, California to Bremerton, Washington August 2003.[21]
Ex-USS John Young San Francisco, California to Pearl Harbor Hawaii September 2003.[21]
Ex-USS O'Brien Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to SINKEX February 2006.[22][23]
USCGC Yocona (ex-USS Seize) Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to Guam October 2006.[24]

Salvor's propulsion machinery provides a bollard pull (towing force at zero speed and full power) of 68 tons.[25][26]

The centerpiece of Salvor's towing capability is an Almon A. Johnson Series 322 double-drum automatic towing machine. Each drum carries 3,000 feet (910 m) of 2 14-inch-diameter (57 mm) drawn galvanized, 6X37 right-hand lay, wire-rope towing hawsers, with closed zinc-poured sockets on the bitter end. The towing machine uses a system to automatically pay-in and pay-out the towing howser to maintain a constant strain.[25][26] The automatic towing machine also includes a Series 400 traction winch that can be used with synthetic line towing hawsers up to 14 inches in circumference. The winch has automatic payout but only manual recovery.[25][26] The Salvor's caprail is curved to fairlead and prevent chafing of the towing hawser. It includes two vertical stern rollers to tend the towing hawser directly aft and two Norman pin rollers to prevent the towing hawser from sweeping forward of the beam at the point of tow. The stern rollers and Norman pins are raised hydraulically and can withstand a lateral force of 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg) at mid barrel.[25]

Two tow bows provide a safe working area on the fantail during towing operations.[25]

Manned diving operations[edit | edit source]

Salvor has several diving systems to support different types of operations. Divers descend to diving depth on a diving stage that is lowered by one of two powered davits.

The diving locker is equipped with a double-lock hyperbaric chamber that can be used for recompression after deep dives or for the treatment of divers suffering from decompression sickness.[21]

The MK21 MOD1 diving system supports manned diving to depths of 190 feet (58 m) on surfaced-supplied air. A fly-away mixed gas system can be used to enable the support of diving to a maximum depth of 300 feet (91 m).[21]

The MK20 MOD0 diving system allows-surface supplied diving to a depth of 60 feet (18 m) with lighter equipment.[21]

Salvor carries SCUBA equipment for dives that require greater mobility than is possible in tethered diving.[21]

Mines[edit | edit source]

Naval mine laying and recovery.[7][18][19]

Recovery of submerged objects[edit | edit source]

In addition to her two main ground tackle anchors (6,000-pound (2,700 kg) Navy standard stockless or 8,000-pound (3,600 kg) balanced-fluke anchors) Salvor can use equipment associated with her beach gear to lay a multi-point open water moor to station herself for diving and ROV operations.[2]

A typical four-point-moor consists of an X pattern with four Stato Anchors at the outside corners and Salvor at the center, made fast to a spring buoy for the close end of each mooring leg with synthetic mooring lines. Using her capstans, Salvor can shorten or lengthen the mooring line for each leg and change her position within the moor.[27]

As built Salvor had a 7.5-ton capcacity boom on a forward kingpost, however the kingpost and boom are being replaced by a 10,0000-pound deck crane.[28] She has 40-ton capacity boom on her aft kingpost.[21][26][29]

Heavy Lift[edit | edit source]

Salvor has heavy lift system that consists of large bow and stern rollers, deck machinery, and tackle. The rollers serve as low-friction fairlead for the wire rope or chain used for the lift. The tackle and deck machinery provide up to 75 tons of hauling for each lift. The two bow rollers can be used together with linear hydraulic pullers to achieve a dynamic lift of 150 tons. The stern rollers can be used with the automatic towing machine to provide a dynamic lift of 150 tons. All four rollers can be used together for a dynamic lift of 300 tons[21] or a static tidal lift of 350 tons.[30]

"Salvor" also has two auxiliary bow rollers, which can support of 75 ton lift when used together.[21]

Off-ship fire-fighting[edit | edit source]

Salvor Has three manually operated fire monitors, one on the forward signal bridge, one on on the aft signal bridge, and one on the forecastle, that can deliver up to 1000 gallons per minute of seawater or aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).[21] When originally built, Salvor had a fourth remotely controlled fire monitor mounted on her forward kingpost,[1] but this was later removed. Salvor has a 3600 gallon foam tank.[26]

Emergency ship salvage material[edit | edit source]

In addition to the equipment carried by Salvor, the US Navy Supervisor of Salvage maintains a stock of additional emergency fly-away salvage equipment that can be deployed aboard the salvage ships to support a wide variety of rescue and salvage operations.[31][32]

Operational accomplishments[edit | edit source]

Assisting search and rescue efforts after the ROKS Cheonan sinking

Between 1987 and 2001, Salvor has provided rescue or assistance to ships at sea in seven instances. Two cases involved collisions near Hawaii: the USNS Safeguard boat accident in August 1987,[7][33] and the Collision of USS Greeneville with Eihme Maru between February and November 2001.[19][34][35] Salvor also assisted in the Exxon Houston grounding near Barbers Point, Hawaii, in March 1989,[8][36] and the Kamalu barge fire in May 1989.[8] On three occasions, Salvor has assisted a ship at sea that has suffered a catastrophic equipment loss: recovering the primary towing pendant of the Ex-USS Duncan/USNS Navajo in January 1995,[14] the anchor chain of the USS Willamette in February 1995,[14] and the towed sonar array of the USS Los Angeles in June 1996.[37] The ship was also involved in the rescue effort after the ROKS Cheonan sinking.[38]

During the same time, Salvor participated in seven sea-recoveries of submerged military aircraft, including an A-6E Intruder (VA-145) in Puget Sound, Washington,[9] a UH-46D Sea Knight from a world-record depth[39] 17,251 feet (5,258 m)[11] near Wake Island,[11] a SH-60 Seahawk, an F/A-18C Hornet (VFA-22) near San Diego,[12][14] and two United States Air Force F-16 Falcons in Korean waters and the Sea of Japan.[40][41] Other salvage operations undertaken by Salvor include repairing the propeller blades of HMAS Darwin,[9] repairing the hull of BRP Rajah Humabon,[42] recovering a LARC-V amphibious vehicle,[43] recovering and disposing of a 1,000-pound (450 kg) Mark 83 bomb,[43] pumping out oil leaking from the wreck of USS Mississinewa,[21] and exploring the wreck of the USS Lagarto in the Gulf of Thailand.[44]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1986.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1986
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/g/ars-53/2002.pdf USS Grapple Command History 2002
  3. US Navy Fact File: Rescue and Salvage Ships T-ARS
  4. http://www.msc.navy.mil/sealift/2009/April/salvor.htm USNS Salvor debeaches ship grounded in Hawaii
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://www.everyspec.com/USN/NAVSEA/S0300-A7-HBK-010_1-04_4163/ US Navy Salvage Manual Volume 1: Strandings and Harbor Clearance
  6. http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=42154 USS Navy Image 070112-N-3228G-011
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1987.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1987
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1989.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1989
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1990.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1990
  10. 10.0 10.1 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1991.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1991
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1992.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1992
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1993.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1993
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1994.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1994
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1995.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1995
  15. http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1997.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1997
  16. http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/details/DD566.htm Naval Vessel Registry
  17. http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1999.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1999
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/2000.pdf USS Salvor Command History 2000
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/2001.pdf USS Salvor Command History 2001
  20. http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/details/AGS34.htm Naval Vessel Registry
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/2003.pdf USS Salvor Command History 2003
  22. http://www.salvor.navy.mil/FEB_pics.htm USS Salvor photos February 2006
  23. http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/details/DD975.htm Naval Vessel Registry
  24. http://www.navy.mil/search/print.asp?story_id=25928&VIRIN=39594&imagetype=1&page=1 Navy News Stand "USS Salvor Returns Home from Deployment"
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 https://www.procurement.msc.navy.mil/procurement/AttachmentViewer?sectionType=CommonDocumentSection&id=20000071&fileId=60004154 US Navy Towing Manual
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA483590" Naval Postgraduate School Thesis: Recapitalization of the Future Towing and Salvage Platform
  27. http://safetycenter.navy.mil/afloat/articles/diving/Mooring.htm Naval Safety Center: "A Four-Point Moor is Taxing and Challenging"
  28. https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=d1d99c71a754112207eaf4e0b3bd71df&tab=core&_cview=1
  29. http://www.supsalv.org/00c2_ars50.asp Supervisor of Salvage Towing Assets: T-ARS 50 Safeguard Class Salvage Vessel
  30. http://www.supsalv.org/pdf/SALVORS_HANDBOOK_1-04.pdf US Navy Salvor's Handbook
  31. http://www.supsalv.org/essm/ Emergency Ship Salvage Material
  32. http://www.essmnavy.net/Salvage%20Catalog.pdf Emergency Ship Salvage Material (ESSM) Catalog Salvage Equipment Volume 1 (S0300-BV-CAT-010)
  33. http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-50/1987.pdf USS Safeguard Command History 1987
  34. http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=4723 Ehime Maru Successfully Moved to Final Relocation Site
  35. http://archives.starbulletin.com/2001/11/18/news/story6.html USS Salvor dives deep for Ehime Maru job
  36. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/docs/boards/exxonhouston.pdf Marine Casualty Report: S/S Exxon Hounston
  37. http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1996.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1996
  38. http://www.stripes.com/news/south-koreans-hold-out-hope-for-sailors-missing-after-ship-explosion-1.100527
  39. http://books.google.com/books?id=hLYzvUvPL3MC&lpg=PA156&ots=wE46wIn6TI&dq=%22uss%20salvor%22%20guinness&pg=PA156#v=onepage&q&f=true
  40. http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/1998.pdf USS Salvor Command History 1998
  41. http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F-16/airframe-profile/3164/ F-16 Aircraft Database Airframe Details for F-16 #90-0792
  42. Faceplate Vol.7 No.1, April 2003 "USS Salvor (ARS 52)" page.
  43. 43.0 43.1 http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/s/ars-52/2006.pdf USS Salvor Command History 2006
  44. http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=24581" Experts Confirm Sunken Sub is USS Lagarto

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