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Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS)

Last updated: 07 Mar 2019

Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS) performs rescue operations on submerged, disabled submarines of the U.S. Navy or foreign navies.  

SRDRS is designed for quick deployment in the event of a submarine accident. SRDRS is transportable by truck, aircraft or ship. At the accident site, the SRDRS works with a "mother ship" known as a vessel of opportunity (VOO). The SRDRS is a tethered, remotely-operated vehicle with two on board system operators that is launched into the water and mates to the disabled submarine's hatch. SRDRS can embark up to 16 rescued personnel for transfer to the "mother" vessel. It is government-owned, contractor-operated.

The SRDRS consists of three systems:

1. Assessment/Underwater Work System (AUWS). Consists of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for assessment of a disabled sub and rescue hatch clearance down to 2,000 feet of seawater.
2. Submarine Rescue System - Rescue Capable System (SRS-RCS). RCS Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) provides a tethered, remotely-operated vehicle capable of rescuing 16 personnel per trip.
3. Submarine Decompression System (SRS-SDS). Will provide a transfer-under-pressure capability for hyperbaric treatment of Sailors rescued from a pressurized sub. IOC is planned for 2019.  

SRDRS was developed due to the retirement of Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicles (DSRVs) in 2008. DSRVs were developed as a result of USS Thresher's (SSN 593) accident in 1963, when all hands were lost. At the time, submarine operating depths greatly exceeded the capabilities of rescue vessels. In response, the Deep Submergence Systems Project developed a deep diving rescue submarine, the first of which was launched in 1970. SRDRS was delivered to the fleet in 2008.
General Characteristics, SRDRS Builder: Oceanworks; Vancouver, Canada
Length: 49 feet (15 meters)
Beam: 8 feet (2.4 meters)
Displacement: 8 feet (2.4 meters)
Depth: Maximum: 2,000 feet (610 meters)
Crew: Two tenders and the capacity for 16 passengers.

Point of Contact
Undersea Rescue Command

NAS North Island
San Diego, CA


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