■ Auxiliary Rescue/Salvage Ship (ARS) (Safeguard Class). The mission of the ARS ship is to assist disabled ships, debeach stranded vessels, fight fires alongside other ships, lift heavy objects, recover submerged objects, tow other vessels, and perform manned diving operations. The ARS class ships carry a complement of divers to perform underwater ship husbandry tasks and salvage operations as well as underwater search and recovery. This class of vessel is equipped for all air diving techniques. Onboard equipment allows diving with air to a depth of 190 fsw.
■ Submarine Tender (AS). U.S. submarine tenders are designed specifically for servicing nuclear-powered submarines. Submarine tenders are fitted with a recompression chamber used for hyperbaric treatments. Submarine tenders support underwater ship husbandry and maintenance and security swims.
■ Fleet Ocean Tug (T-ATF). T-ATFs are operated by the Military Sealift Command. Civilian crews are augmented with military communications and diving detachments. In addition to towing, these large ocean-going tugs serve as salvage and diving platforms.
■ Diving Tender (YDT). These vessels are used to support shallow-water diving operations. Additionally, a wide variety of Standard Navy Dive Boats (SNDB), LCM-8, LCM-6, 50-foot work boats, and other yard craft have been fitted with surface-supplied dive systems.
6-8.3.2 Small Craft. Scuba operations are normally conducted from small craft. These can range in size and style from an inflatable rubber raft with an outboard engine to a small landing craft. If divers are operating from a large ship or diving float, a small boat must be ready as a rescue craft in the event a surfacing diver is in trouble some distance from the support site. A small boat used by scuba divers must be able to slip its moorings quickly and move to a diver needing assistance.
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