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FS La Garonne first French Navy vessel certified for NATO submarine rescue system

- From 25 to 31 October 2021, the Metropolitan Support and Assistance Building (BSAM) Garonne embarked the Nato submarine rescue system (NSRS) to train and certify BSAMs in the highly technical field of assistance and intervention for the rescue of a submarine in distress.

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This mission was part of the SILVER LINK exercise organised by “ALFOST”, an authority within the French Navy, responsible for rescuing submarine crews, and the NSRS, an organisation made of three countries – France, Norway and United Kingdom. Responsible for deploying and implementing collective rescue resources in the event of a submarine sinking.

The exercise resulted in the deployment of the Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dedicated to clearing, pod-posting and technical expertise of the submarine in distress, from the BSAM. This capital phase prepares and then allows the landing of the Submarine rescue vehicle (SRV) on the hull of the submarine to evacuate the crew.

This exercise also makes it possible to certify the qualifications acquired by the identified vessels, to train the pilots of the ROV and the crew of the carrier vessel. ALFOST experts were responsible for the certification of these vessels to “GOLD” level, as part of the implementation of the intervention part of the NSRS system.

The certification of the Garonne at “GOLD” level is a first for a French military ship and thus qualifies the four vessels forming the BSAM squad at the same level.

At present, the four BSAMs are considered as “Mother ship NSRS” and are able to implement the intervention system on the two metropolitan seafronts.

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