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Rockets were used to propel a line to a stricken ship so that a Breeches buoy can be used to rescue those on board. Rockets are also used to launch emergency flares.

Some crewed rockets, notably the Saturn V[31] and Soyuz,[32] have launch escape systems. This is a small, usually solid rocket that is capable of pulling the crewed capsule away from the main vehicle towards safety at a moments notice. These types of systems have been operated several times, both in testing and in flight, and operated correctly each time.

This was the case when the Safety Assurance System (Soviet nomenclature) successfully pulled away the L3 capsule during three of the four failed launches of the Soviet moon rocket, N1 vehicles 3L, 5L and 7L. In all three cases the capsule, albeit uncrewed, was saved from destruction. Only the three aforementioned N1 rockets had functional Safety Assurance Systems. The outstanding vehicle, 6L, had dummy upper stages and therefore no escape system giving the N1 booster a 100% success rate for egress from a failed launch.[33][34][35][36]

A successful escape of a crewed capsule occurred when Soyuz T-10, on a mission to the Salyut 7 space station, exploded on the pad.[37]

Solid rocket propelled ejection seats are used in many military aircraft to propel crew away to safety from a vehicle when flight control is lost.[38]