VESSEL REVIEW | Fireboat 2 – Modern response craft to serve Port Canaveral, Florida

Photo: Murray

The Canaveral Port Authority (CPA) of Port Canaveral, Florida, has taken delivery of a new firefighting vessel built by Metal Shark Boats.

Fireboat 2 is officially designated by its owners as a marine firefighting rescue vessel (MFRV). The vessel will offer enhanced fire protection and response time capabilities to serve expanding maritime and commercial space industry operations at one of the largest cruise ports along the US East Coast.

Fireboat 2 was built to be a multi-role platform, having also been designed to function as a waterborne medical treatment platform and as a command and control vessel during maritime rescue operations that involve multiple assets. Also, the boat’s construction emphasised improved crew protection when responding to CBRNE incidents.

CPA CEO John Murray said the acquisition of the specialised firefighting vessel was done mainly in anticipation of the increase in LNG bunkering activities at Port Canaveral. Having a response boat on standby whenever LNG-powered cruise ships take on fuel while at the port provides an added measure of safety not only within the port’s confines but also within the surrounding communities.

The MFRV was acquired for a total cost of US$4.7 million with more than half of the funding provided by the state government of Florida and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its Port Security Grant Fund.

The newbuild has all-aluminium construction, a length of 75 feet (22 metres), and a beam of 22 feet (6.7 metres). The boat is notable for utilising a hull form that had already been proven in military use on a number of other craft that were also built by Metal Shark.

Four MAN 800hp (596kW) inboard diesel engines drive an equal number of HamiltonJet propulsion units to deliver a maximum speed of 35 knots and a cruising speed of 30 knots.

Photo: Canaveral Port Authority

The MFRV is fitted with twin Darley fire pumps rated at 3,000 gallons per minute (11,300 litres per minute). Each pump feeds two remotely operated bow monitors, a remotely operated rooftop monitor, two manually operated aft deck monitors, two aft deck risers with dual hand line connections, and dual Storz hydrant outlets. There are also conventional and dry-chemical firefighting apparatus, a 500-gallon (1,890-litre) foam tank with gravity fast feed capability, and a Purple-K dry-chemical firefighting system.

The vessel features wide open work spaces with non-skid surfaces to facilitate the safe movement by crews anywhere along the deck. Low-level LED lighting is fitted on the walkways for use during nighttime operations.

The boat’s medical treatment capability is guaranteed by a cabin dedicated to that purpose situated amidships. The pilothouse has therefore been raised to provide the crew with improved all-round visibility, which is essential for situational awareness when responding to emergencies. As with other fire rescue boats from the same series, the MFRV pilothouse was designed with pillarless glass that helps reduce the number of blind spots that would otherwise hinder the view from the helm.

Located below deck are the crew accommodation spaces, which include multiple bunks forward, a full galley, an enclosed head, hanging lockers. A midships cabin offers ample space for additional bunking or multi-use storage space. Sleeping accommodations are separated from the pilothouse, allowing off-watch crew to rest without disturbing operations.

The array of available firefighting monitors, the ability to choose between conventional and dry-chemical firefighting equipment, the onboard medical treatment area, and the CBRNE detection capability give the MFRV the operational flexibility needed for addressing a broad range of incidents. This then ensures that the CPA will always have an adequate emergency response capability on standby even with a limited number of assets.

Fireboat 2 will be maintained in a 24/7 ready state and operated for Port Canaveral by local agency Canaveral Fire Rescue. Dave Sargeant, Canaveral Fire Rescue Chief, has stated that the boat was built to have a service life of over 20 years.

Photo: Smith

See all the other content for Emergency Services Week here.

Fireboat 2
Type of vessel:Firefighting and rescue boat
Owner:Canaveral Port Authority, USA
Operator:Canaveral Fire Rescue, USA
Designer:Metal Shark Boats, USA
Builder:Metal Shark Boats, USA
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Deck construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:75 feet (22 metres)
Beam:22 feet (6.7 metres)
Main engines:4 x MAN inboards, each 800 hp (596 kW)
Propulsion:4 x HamiltonJet
Maximum speed:35 knots
Cruising speed:30 knots
Other equipment installed:CBRNE detection equipment; bow push knees
External lighting:LED lighting on walkways
Floor/deck surface finishes:Non-skid surfaces
Firefighting equipment:2 x Darley pumps, each 3,000 GPM (11,300 L/min); 4 x bow monitors; rooftop monitor; 2 x aft deck monitors; 2 x Storz hydrant outlets; foam tank, 500 gallons (1,890 litres); chemical firefighting system
Type of fuel:Diesel
Accommodation:Medical treatment cabin; crew bunks; galley; head; lockers; bunking/storage cabin

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