The London Fire Brigade (LFB) is one of the few UK emergency services to operate dedicated metal-hulled fireboats.
The LFB very recently commissioned two new such vessels, Tanner and Errington, both named in honour of two of the service’s officers who were awarded medals for gallantry during Germany’s bombing campaign against London in World War 2. Both fireboats are based on the River Thames.
The main roles of the all-aluminium craft are fighting fires on vessels and on the shoreline of the Thames, as well as the rescue of people from craft that have been involved in accidents, or who have fallen into the water, or become stranded on the Thames’ muddy foreshore. Rescue is facilitated by means of a crane and cradle as well as a bow ramp. The vessels each have a flat reinforced keel to facilitate beaching.
Constructed by Holyhead Marine Services in Wales to a design by Camarc, the new fireboats are significantly bigger and faster than the LFB’s two 1999-vintage craft built by now-defunct Almaritec, which they replace. One will be at immediate readiness at all times at the brigade’s floating operational base on the Thames with the other will be kept as back-up at headquarters.
The 16.2-metre boats are each powered by two Scania D16 671kW diesel engines. The engines drive Kongsberg Maritime waterjets to propel the boats to speeds of up to 45 knots.
The boats’ array of emergency response equipment consists of two remotely operated firefighting monitors fed by a pump with a rated output of 2,500 litres per minute. A thermal camera is also is also installed on each vessel to enable operations even under low-visibility conditions, such as when responding to incidents in areas engulfed in thick smoke.
|Tanner & Errington|
|Type of vessel:||Fire and rescue boats|
|Owner:||London Fire Brigade, UK|
|Designer:||Camarc Design, UK|
|Builder:||Holyhead Marine Services, UK|
|Hull construction material:||Aluminium|
|Superstructure construction material:||Aluminium|
|Deck construction material:||Aluminium|
|Length overall:||16.2 metres|
|Main engines:||2 x Scania D16, each 671 kW|
|Propulsion:||2 x Kongsberg Maritime waterjets|
|Maximum speed:||45 knots|
|Firefighting equipment:||Pump; 2 x monitors; hoses|
|Type of fuel:||Diesel|
|Operational area:||River Thames, London, UK|
Trevor Hollingsbee was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and Senior Superintendent with the Hong Kong Marine Police. He is Baird Maritime's resident maritime security expert and columnist.