South Korea launches second auxiliary submarine rescue ship Ganghwado

According to information published by Yonhap News Agency on October 7, 2021, South Korea launched a new 5,600-ton-class auxiliary submarine rescue ship (ARS-II) capable of conducting rescue operations in the deep sea regardless of weather conditions.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Second auxiliary submarine rescue ship (ARS-II) Ganghwado at Geoje (Picture source: Republic of Korea Navy)

A launch ceremony for the vessel, named Ganghwado, took place at the Okpo shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., on the southern island of Geoje.

Currently, South Korea has the 3,200-ton Cheonghaejin submarine rescue ship, which was commissioned in late 1996.

ROKS Cheonghaejin (ASR-21) is the only ship of the Cheonghaejin-class submarine rescue ship in the Republic of Korea Navy. She is named after the military headquarters, Cheonghaejin.

Her operations include rescuing trapped sailors in submarines, naval operation support for submarines, underwater research and mapping support, and recovery of sunk vessels. It is equipped with a deep submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) that operates up to 500 meters (1,600 ft), and a rescue chamber that holds up to nine people.

A submarine rescue ship serves as a surface support ship for submarine rescue and deep-sea salvage operations. Methods employed are the McCann Rescue Chamber, Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicles (DSRV's) and deep-sea diving operations.