The design of the current Subsalve lift bag had its beginnings in 1977 when the company was chosen by the US Navy to produce a range of standard open and closed bags. Our continued work on cutting edge projects allowed for the development of our unique lift bag shape and the high-performance products in the Subsalve line today. Subsalve designs have evolved with the advancement of technology and materials and will continue to rise to the needs of our diverse clientele. We are committed to the tradition of research, development and comprehensive hands-on testing that has made the Subsalve company the clear leader in underwater lift bags.


1977 — The US Navy requests Subsalve develop a range of standard open and closed bags.

1977 — Subsalve bags used for scientific recovery work on the Atocha

1970’s — Subsalve lift bags used in installation of offshore pipelines in the Gulf and North Sea

1979 — Contracted by the Naval Ocean Systems Center to create deep ocean lift bag.

The objective was to design a bag with maximum lift to weight ratio, offering maximum buoyancy with minimum bag weight.

weight ratio, offering maximum buoyancy with minimum bag weight.

Subsalve also designed an innovative pressure release valve, which allowed for the venting of expanding air. This project set a new standard for lift bags and created a bag capable of lifting 12 metric tons.

1979 — Subsalve commissioned to develop system for retrieval of rocket boosters to NASA.

1979 — Began development and delivery on unique aircraft flotation systems.

1979 — 1982 — Subsalve bags used for scientific recovery work on Concepcion.

1985 — Awarded contract from US Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Tech Center to make Mark II Mod 1 (170 units), later to become Subsalve’s Mark V - underwater ordnance disposal system.

1988 — Subsalve Lift Bags are included in The Pictorial History of Diving (Best Publishing)

1990 — current — Subsalve bags are used for TV/Commercials/Films. Every major motion picture studio has used Subsalve bags — Universal, Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros. We have also delivered to specialty studios and commercial production companies.

1991 — "Big Dig in Boston" — Boston’s continuing central artery/tunnel project. Subsalve bags are used throughout project for offshore rigs, etc.

1991Receives patent for the Quad Bag.

1992 — Hurricane Andrew — hundreds of Subsalve bags used to recover yachts.

1993 — VRS 2000 receives patent for the VRS 2000.

1993 — VRS-2000 Vehicle Recovery System Launched after 18 years of development.

1993 — Subsalve was asked to develop and participate in underwater bomb recovery training program.

After the Oklahoma City Bombing, it was determined that agents needed to be trained in underwater bomb recovery. The president of Subsalve, Richard Fryburg, was asked to develop a program to train FBI and other agents. Subsalve also developed a new product, the Unexploded Bomb Recovery System, and became the only approved supplier of this system.

1995 — Hurricane Opal — again, Subsalve bags used in 100’s of yacht recoveries.

1996 — Launched The Mark V Underwater Explosive Ordnance Disposal System

Outcome of 10 years of hands-on development and intimate work with US Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Tech Center.

Subsalve’s first contract for the UEOD was for the Singapore Navy. We’ve also supplied the following Navies, among others: United States, Australian, Malaysian, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Spain, India.

2001 — Spiegel Grove — Subsalve Lift Bags used to move the world’s largest artificial reef. More than 600 tons of Subsalve liftbags used.

2002 — Subsalve and Richard Fryburg contribute to NOAA Diving Manual.

2003 — Subsalve bags used by Australian Navy to lift mines and clear the harbor in Iraq.


Highlights of engineering and innovation.

The company has been and continues to be an innovator in the design and manufacturing of engineered inflatables.



Professional Lift Bags aid in barge removal from busy shipping lanes.


Commercial Lift Bags raising a cannon from treasure ship "Concepcion."


Subsalve bags are used to install oil pipeline on a Noeh sea drill platform.


SUBSALVE'S state-of-the-art Mark V system in action



SUBSAVE liftbags were used inside this jetliner in the film "U.S.MARSHAL" staring Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, and Robert Downey Jr.


Use Subsalve underwater lift bags for boat salvage, marine rescue operations and
underwater explosive ordnance disposal systems