US Navy ship calls at Penang

THE USS Safeguard, the lead ship of the ‘Rescue-Salvage' class of vessels of the United States Navy, berthed at Penang's Swettenham Pier for the first time. 

The 3,200-tonne vessel arrived on a routine port visit recently. 

Commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Doyle K. Hodges said the Safeguard had four missions, namely debeaching of stranded vessels, heavy lifting from ocean depths, towing of other vessels and manning diving operations. 

“The Safeguard is also equipped for fire rescue missions and has equipment to assist in dewatering, patching, supplying electrical power and many other essential services required to return a disabled ship to operating condition,” he told reporters during a media tour of the vessel. 

Lt Commander Hodges posing for the camera on the deck of his USS Safeguard.

He said the rugged construction of the steel-hulled vessel, combined with her speed and endurance, made the Safeguard well suited for rescue and salvage operations. 

“We have worked with the navies from countries in this region, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand, for diving and salvage exercises,” he added. 

Lt Commander Hodges said the crew enjoyed the nightlife and seafood in Penang.  

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