New fireboat for Port of Long Beach

A new fireboat has been officially welcomed into service at the Port of Long Beach, USA.

The fireboat named ‘Protector’, and a second boat which is still under construction, the ‘Vigilance’, will replace the port’s fireboats ‘Challenger’ and ‘Liberty’.

The older vessels began service in the late 1980s and were designed in an era of vessels carrying 4,500 containers, the Port of Long Beach said in a statement. The biggest vessels calling in Long Beach now have a capacity of 18,000 containers, with even larger ships coming in the future.

“These new fireboats are specifically designed for the big ship era,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup. “They’re amazing, state-of-the art machines built to protect the ships of today and tomorrow.”

‘Protector’ is equipped with 10 water cannons capable of extinguishing fires in the harbour or on nearby land with more than 155,000 litres per minute, four times the output of the existing fireboats. It can shoot water the length of two football fields, and higher than a 20-story building, meaning firefighters can throw water or foam aboard the world’s largest container ships and oil tankers.

The construction cost is $51.6 million for the two boats, including US$18.5 million in grant funding from Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program.