Friday, August 3, 2012

USNS Grapple - successful mission

USNS Grapple returned to Halifax this morning after completing a successful recovery mission in Quebec. The mult-function salvage ship operated by the US Military Sealift Command (MSC) was sent to the Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan area of the Quebec lower north shore to recover the remains of five airmen lost in 1942 when their amphibious patrol aircraft, a PBY Catalina was lost on takeoff. As part of the US Prisoner of War / Missing in Action program it is the intention of authorities to recover as many of the missing as possible. In addition to remains, the ship recovered numerous artefacts tjnat had been preserved in the wreck due to cold waters with minimal light penetration.
The salvage ship Grapple was launched in 1984 and commissioned into the US Navy in 1986. In 2006 it was decommisioned and transferred to the MSC, where it now operates with a civilian crew. Its pennant number thus changed from ARS-53 to T-ARS-53. The ship can support salavage, towing and diving operations, and it fitted with a large suite of tools for those various jobs.
The ship also called in Halifax on July 6 on its way north.
1. USN Grapple arrives this morning.
2. The ship is fitted for towing, salvage and recovery work.
3. Two stern anchors can be used for ground tackle. (July 6 photo)

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