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a ship designed to render aid to vessels disabled at sea. Rescue ships may have all-purpose or restricted functions, for example, rescue tugs, fireboats, and submarine rescue ships. Such ships are equipped with towing gear for towing vessels that have lost power and for freeing vessels that have run aground, both fixed and portable devices for pumping water from vessels, materials, apparatus, and facilities for repairs, equipment for welding and cutting (including underwater work), equipment for transferring people from other ships, and cargo hoists. They are provided with cabins for rescued people, compartments for valuable property that has been salvaged, and an emergency repair shop.
Rescue ships usually have a shallow draft, which is necessary for operations in shallow waters. They are fast (30 to 40 km/hr) and sufficiently seaworthy to operate in any weather. They are used by coastal services that operate in areas where navigation is difficult and ship traffic is heavy. In the USSR, rescue ships are used by port emergency rescue services.
E. G. LOGVINOVICH