2017 November 14 17:36

Port of Long Beach dedicates second advanced fireboat

A second, new fireboat was officially brought into service Monday at the Port of Long Beach, completing a program to provide the most robust waterborne safety of any container seaport in the world, the company said in its press release.

“Vigilance” was dedicated in a dockside ceremony for the late Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Dr. John Kashiwabara, a Korean War veteran who served as a commissioner from 1996-2002 and was the first Japanese American named to the Board. He died in 2010.

Vigilance joins “Protector,” dedicated in 2016. The vessels replace “Challenger” and “Liberty,” which began service in the late 1980s and were designed in an era of vessels carrying 4,500 containers. The largest vessel that has now called in Long Beach carried 18,000 containers, and the Port regularly services 14,000-container vessels. Larger ships are expected in the future.

Vigilance and its twin Protector are equipped with 10 water cannons capable of extinguishing fires in the harbor or on nearby land with more than 41,000 gallons per minute — four times the output of the previous fireboats. They can shoot water the length of two football fields, and higher than a 20-story building.

The fireboats have a suite of other emergency response features, including facilities for medical treatment, a Command Information Center, boom deployment to contain spills and an onboard crane. They can also assist with chemical, biological and nuclear threats.

The project team included staff from the Port and the Long Beach Fire Department, naval architect Robert Allan Ltd., builder Foss Maritime Co. and construction manager Jensen Maritime Consultants.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency provided an $18.5 million grant toward the cost of the first of the two fireboats, which together cost $51.6 million to construct.