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The Salvage Operations Division maintains standing worldwide commercial contracts for salvage, emergency towing, deep ocean search and recovery operations, and oil pollution abatement. Additionally, we own, maintain and operate the worldwide Emergency Ship Salvage Material (ESSM) system, which incorporates the world's largest inventory of salvage and pollution abatement equipment. We also own, maintain, and operate a large number of deep ocean search and recovery systems, with depth capabilities up to 20,000 feet. We also routinely provide salvage technical assistance to fleet salvors, as well as to other federal agencies.

Within the National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), SUPSALV has been assigned as 1 of 7 "Special Teams" available to the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC). Thus, we provide assistance (personnel and/or equipment) for commercial oil or hazardous substance spills, or potential spills (i.e. salvage operations), as requested by any FOSC. Assistance ranges from salvage technical or operational assistance to mobilization of SUPSALV and other Navy resources to support a partial or full federal response to a marine casualty.

USCG and EPA requesting procedures

Emergency Response Resource Letter

SUPSALV Salvage & Oil Pollution Capabilities Brochure

Salvage and Towing Services

Through three salvage contracts, we provide worldwide salvage and towing services. These contracts allow us to meet maritime emergencies with personnel and equipment tailored to suit the job. We routinely respond to operations involving strandings, collisions, fires, and engineering casualties with civilian contractors under direction of our salvage specialists. Recent advances in computer technology have made salvage engineering a vital part of most salvage operations, from the initial planning through the conduct of the operation. Our naval architects are salvage engineers who are recognized experts in providing salvage technical assistance, and utilize the U. S. Navy's Program of Ship Salvage Engineering (POSSE) to evaluate structural integrity, stability, and all other engineering aspects of salvage operations.

Salvage and Towing assets include:

T-ARS 50 Class ships and T-ATF -166 Class ships owned and manage by the Military Sealift Command (MSC).  Details of these ships can be found using the Towing and Salvage link on the right side of this page.

Undersea Deep Ocean Search and Salvage Services

Deep ocean search operations require the use of highly specialized equipment and personnel. We maintain several deep ocean search and salvage systems designed to work as deep as 20,000 feet. Our search systems range from simple towed pinger locators to sophisticated survey systems. With these systems, we have successfully located items as small as airplane propellers and as large as sunken ships. Once the target is located, we bring in one of our sophisticated remotely operated vehicles to inspect and, if necessary, salvage the item. These services are commonly utilized to support USAF, NASA, USCG and other federal agencies, in addition to USN requirements.

All of these systems are designed to be operated off ships of opportunity and, if the situation requires, flown to the site. By containerizing these systems, we are assured that they arrive at the remote site with all required components and spare parts to support the mission.

Ocean Search and Recovery Assets include:

Technical Publications

This division is also responsible for publishing the U.S. Navy Salvage Manuals, Salvage Engineer's Handbooks, and several other salvage-related technical manuals and instructions. Technical documentation developed by 00C2 supporting the Salvage Program can be found on our Publications and Technical Documentation page.

For more information on SEA 00C Salvage Recovery, and Open Sea Response Programs, please see the Salvage Instructions on Salvage Publications page.