Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


A system of underwater search and rescue for non-military submersibles utilizing a helicopter delivered rescue submersible is proposed. In the last 10 years there has been a substantial increase in manned underwater endeavors. This expansion is expected to continue with increasingly greater emphasis in the recreational field. The necessity to overcome the relatively short iife support of the small recreation submersible dictates a rapid response. This system should be capable of providing the lift necessary to rescue the entrapped personnel by bringing the submersible to the surface. At the present time the Coast Guard must rely on other submersible operators to provide search services while relying on a ship to provide the lift necessary to bring the distressed submersible to the surface. The paper finds that the present plan is incapable of carrying out the underwater search and rescue mission. It is concluded that using a helicopter to overcome many of the inherent problems of delivering and launching a rescue submersible while using the heavy lift capability of the most recent helicopters to bring the distressed submersible to the surface, provides a viable solution to the most complex marine search and rescue problem envisioned today. The paper also concludes that, in order to simplify the search and location problem, safety legislation will be required which will allow the distressed submersible to be detected much more efficiently.