SERT provides immediate 24/7 naval architecture and salvage engineering support to U.S. Coast Guard units in response to vessel casualties, including grounding, sinking, capsizing, collision/allision, fire, and structural damage. SERT also provides assistance with PREP exercises, and assistance with casualty investigations, including technical review and independent analysis of vessel stability and structural integrity.
For the COTP/FOSC:
SERT members are uniformed, post-graduate trained naval architects and marine engineers, whose primary focus is conducting structural and stability plan review and design verification for commercial vessels. Once selected as a SERT member, these individuals also receive extensive training and qualification in salvage techniques and salvage engineering. SERT Duty Officers are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide immediate salvage engineering support to Coast Guard units in response to a variety of vessel casualties. SERT can assist the COTP and FOSC in managing and minimizing the risks to people, the environment, and property when responding to vessel casualties. SERT provides this assistance by performing detailed technical reviews and evaluations including independent analysis of intact and damaged ship stability and structural integrity, grounding and freeing forces, oil/hazardous substance outflow, and rigging, lifting, and towing equipment and systems. SERT is staffed and equipped for rapid deployment, and can fill a role as a salvage specialist in an Incident Command or Unified Command, or provide on-scene technical oversight during a casualty response or salvage operation.
Contact Information (24/7):
SERT Duty Officer Mobile Phone: (202) 327-3985
SERT Duty Officer Email: SERT.Duty@uscg.mil
SERT Activation Guide and Rapid Salvage Survey Form:
SERT should be contacted by Coast Guard units as soon as practical following a vessel casualty, so that pertinent technical information can be gathered and SERT can be integrated quickly into the early phases of the response. Initial contact with the SERT Duty Officer should be made by phone at (202) 327-3985. The Duty Officer will provide initial assessment of the casualty and guide requests for additional information. For many casualties, the SERT Duty Officer will request additional technical information be provided on the Rapid Salvage Survey Form. This document serves as a basic “checklist” for many vessel casualties.
Capabilities and Resources:
SERT members have mobile computing capability and are experts in the use of state-of-the-art naval architecture and salvage engineering software packages, including GHS and HECSALV. SERT has immediate access to thousands of vessel computer models, which can be used to conduct rapid detailed analyses. Members also have access to thousands of additional vessel models through external relationships with classification societies and commercial naval architecture, ocean engineering, salvage, and emergency response firms. SERT has extensive history and experience in vessel casualty response and salvage. The team maintains professional relationships with the American Salvage Association and its members, classification societies, commercial naval architecture and engineering firms, and the Navy Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV). These relationships enable SERT to quickly access pertinent technical information and rapidly integrate into a casualty response.
SERT Brief Sheets:
Based on industry best practices and drawing on SERT’s experience over hundreds of vessel casualties, SERT has developed several single-page brief sheets. The brief sheets can be used by Coast Guard units for general information and training, and to guide development of salvage, refloating and lightering plans by commercial firms.