VESSEL REVIEW | MR-508 – River response boat delivered to Quaker Springs, New York


Alabama boat builder Silver Ships has delivered a new centre console boat to the Quaker Springs Volunteer Fire Department in New York State. Named MR-508, the newbuild will be operated on the Hudson River north of the state capital Albany.

“As we are a volunteer fire department,” the owner told Baird Maritime, “a portion of our responsibility covers water rescue and fire suppression if necessary. We have two bodies of water that we cover, including a portion of the Hudson River and Saratoga Lake. With the new equipment on board, we expect we could also be asked to perform searches on other local lakes. We therefore needed a craft that could be used in good weather as well as bad weather in order to affect any rescues that might occur.”

The department said that the new boat also needed to be durable and fast enough to make it to most areas of the lake in a short amount of time.

“All departments have areas of jurisdiction but only launch their boats when alerted by their respective fire commands that an emergency is ongoing. Our boat will be maintained in the water for the entirety of the season shortly after ice out and before lake levels are dropped in the fall. With the onboard equipment and the motor, we will be able to reach areas of the lake in less time.”

The boat has a length of 26 feet (7.92 metres), a beam of 8.5 feet (2.5 metres), and a welded-aluminium hull designed to meet ABS Rules For High Speed Naval Craft. Power is provided by a single Suzuki DF250 250hp (186kW) four-stroke outboard engine.

“A firefighting pump to feed a deck gun can be outfitted to also handle hand lines,” the owner added. “This will help us respond to boat fires as well as house fire incidents along the edge of the lake. Our district has no fire hydrants and for trucks, it is impossible to draw water directly from the lake. In many areas a hose line can be rigged from the boat to a truck on shore to provide a limited supply of water for fighting fires that the boat itself could not reach.”

The boat itself is equipped with a Teledyne FLIR M332 thermal camera, a Raymarine advanced sonar system for underwater searches, two Raymarine multi-function displays, an electronic bullhorn, a warning horn, and a mounted spotlight in addition to the usual array of emergency lights and audible warning systems. The thermal camera and the other roof-mounted electronics can be folded down to allow the boat to easily sail underneath low-hanging bridges and vegetation.

The craft is designed to carry the normal complement of rescue gear including life jackets, a throw ring and throw bags, boat hooks, a flare gun, rescue stokes, and a basic first aid bag.  Cold water rescue suits will be included in the required equipment on a seasonal basis.

The door is removable for patient recovery and the boat is equipped with a removable ladder for ease of entry and dive team use.

Click here for more news stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on emergency services vessels.

Type of vessel:Firefighting and rescue boat
Classification:ABS High Speed Naval Craft
Owner:Quaker Springs Volunteer Fire Department, New York, USA
Designer:Silver Ships, USA
Builder:Silver Ships, USA
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:26 feet (7.92 metres)
Beam:8.5 feet (2.5 metres)
Main engine:Suzuki DF-250 outboard, 250 hp (186 kW)
Night vision:Teledyne FLIR M332
Other electronics:2 x Raymarine displays
Other equipment installed:Bullhorn; warning horn; ladder
Firefighting equipment:Darley HE64 Hercules pump; TFT Tornado monitor
Operational area:Hudson River, New York, USA

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