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Special purpose ships

The shipping fleet also includes a range of smaller vessels that provide essential support services.

Tugs are small but highly powerful ships designed to aid larger ships when manoeuvring. Certain tugs specialise in manoeuvring ships safely into port, while Salvage Tugs are designed to help ships in distress. Ships sailing in arctic regions often employ Ice Breakers to open the route for them.

Other specialised ships are engaged in key research and exploration tasks. These include oceanographic, mineral and meteorological research ships, plus marine exploration and survey.
These vessels are enhancing our knowledge, navigation and management of the oceans.