Last update 25 nov 2009
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United Kingdom Rescue Systems

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THE UNITED KINGDOM SUBMARINE RESCUE SYSTEM (UKSRS)

Based at the Submarine Rescue Headquarters in Renfrew, Nr Glasgow with easy access to the airports at Glasgow and Prestwick, the UKSRS provides a comprehensive and world wide Submarine Rescue Service to the Royal Navy.  It is also available for call out to DISSUBs of other nations.   

The UKSRS is at 12hrs notice to deploy to save the lives of the crew of any stricken submarine by rescue or by the supply of Life Support services until rescue can be achieved.  These assets consist of:
  1. Scorpio 45 Remotely Operated Vehicle
  2. LR5 manned rescue submersible 
  3. Containerised supporting infrastructure (workshops, control facilities).
  4. Flyaway handling system including A-frame
  5. Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) system. 
  6. Flyaway INMARSAT secure comms system
The primary role of LR5 is to provide a rapid-reaction rescue capability in north European waters.  However it is available to complement other nations' systems in a large-scale rescue operation.  The UKSRS can be transported to any location capable of receiving a C17 or Antonov 124 aircraft.  Transport to a suitable port for mating with a MOSHIP is then required.  Deployment is a procedure that has been exercised on numerous occasions.  LR5 was refitted in 2000 to increase rescue capacity from nine to 16 survivors at pressures of up to 5 bar.
Operated by commercial contractors Rumic, the UKSRS comes with a portable 25-ton A-frame, which is fitted to a suitable MOSHIP (identified from a worldwide database) in order to lower and raise the submersible from the water.  This sophisticated device is capable of the safe launching and recovery of the manned SRV in up to sea state 6.
Primarily tasked with locating a DISSUB, the ROV Scorpio 45 can survey, inspect and mark the submarine and then transfer life-support stores (such as oxygen candles and carbon dioxide absorbent material) in special containers via the submarine's escape tower.  Hatch clearing is also possible.   Operations can be conducted down to the length of the umbilical (911m).
The UK also operates a Submarine Parachute Assistance Group (SPAG).  SPAG are delivered directly to the sea above the DISSUB to assist the rescue of escapees prior to the arrival of sea borne rescue forces.  SPAG is based at the Submarine Escape Training Tank in Gosport England.  

Above is LR5 with her new transfer under pressure (TUP) suite operating in exercise Sorbet Royal 02