Welcome to Emergency Services Week!

Photo: Japan Coast Guard

Emergency services vessels are always among the most innovative and interesting of the vessels we review here. Perhaps because they are often, but not always, smaller and therefore cheaper than most, their owners are prepared to experiment with their design, construction and equipment to a greater degree than normal.

Of course, those owners still want safe craft that do their required work quickly and economically. Those requirements are almost universal but it is fascinating to note the almost endless variety of vessels that are presented to meet them.

Emergency service vessels cover a wide range of roles including search, rescue, police, firefighting, salvage, disaster relief, oil spill recovery and wider pollution control, and much more.

Obviously, governments, who are the main operators of emergency service vessels, usually have no idea as to what kind of emergency will hit them next. So, they have to be ready for anything and everything. That means they want their vessels to be as versatile and multi-purpose as possible. They are increasingly achieving that objective, as you will note from our reviews over the coming week.

These factors all combine to present us with a wide range of sizes, shapes, construction materials, configurations, propulsion systems and equipment. These boats have turned out to be a wide-ranging showcase of what is available globally for this demanding sector.

Firefighting • Search and Rescue • Police • Coast Guard

This week’s offerings range from a fleet of very small, light, inflatable, air-portable, vehicle-carrying boats of 6.7 metres LOA for Japan to a 78-metre electric hybrid azipod-propelled multi-purpose emergency vessel for the Shenzhen Maritime Safety Authority in China. The latter is designed to operate through clouds of flammable gases.

The former, built by Britain’s MST, weigh only 250 kilograms but can carry up to two tonnes, including small vehicles. When deflated, they are easily enough manhandled to be air-dropped. They are ideal for floods and other disaster relief.

By the time you have finished reading this week’s emergency services vessel presentations you will undoubtedly have gained numerous ideas for your next boat, no matter whether it is a tug, pilot boat or warship.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

FEATURE | Western Australian boatbuilder makes gains in emergency vessel sector

“The design also provides the ability to transit to fires at high speed, even in heavy sea conditions, but also manoeuvre and hold station in shallow, restricted waters…”

News and Gear:

Recent Important Features:

FEATURE | Bushfire support on land and sea

– When a devastating bushfire struck the Australian town of Mallacoota on New Year’s Eve, local commercial marine operators and maritime agencies played a vital role in providing relief for those affected.

– by Simon Enticknap and Sarah Cameron, Australian Maritime Safety Authority

FEATURE | AMSA calls on age-old seafaring tradition

– On a wild and windy January night, 10 nautical miles southeast of Cape Moreton, Queensland, the skipper of prawn trawler Amanda Jane answered a call from an unknown number.

– by Lauren Smit

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the global emergency services industries? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and November 6), so we can add it to this current edition of Emergency Services Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the emergency services sectors
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, equipment manufacturers etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the emergency services world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.