2021 July 6 16:19
In keeping with maritime tradition, Port Canaveral’s new high-tech firefighting vessel Fireboat 2 was officially christened and commissioned into service during a ceremony at the Port that included state and local elected officials, area dignitaries, and representatives of fire rescue departments from towns and municipalities located in the Canaveral Port District.
“For the past four years our Port has prepared for the arrival of LNG-fueling of cruise ships. Having our own specialized fireboat operating here and available for every refueling operation underscores our commitment to safety and security for our Port and the surrounding communities,” stated Capt. John Murray, Port CEO. “Fireboat 2 is the only one of its kind in all of Florida. We are thankful to our Brevard legislative delegation for their support of our Port, and for helping to keep our community safe well into the future.”
Canaveral Port Authority Chairman Rear Admiral Wayne Justice (USCG-Ret.) led the commissioning ceremony, expressing gratitude to those who have supported Port Canaveral’s efforts as America’s first LNG cruise port. “Safety means more capability and we are here to celebrate the enhanced firefighting capacity brought to this port with the commissioning of Fireboat 2,” said Chairman Justice.
The Canaveral Port Authority was the recipient of a $1.5 million local funding initiative of one-time state appropriation co-sponsored by Florida Senator Debbie Mayfield (Dist. 17) and Florida House Rep. Rene Plasencia (Dist. 50) and included in the Florida Division of Finance FY 2019-2020 Office of the Fire Marshal budget. Port Canaveral also received a $1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Port Security Grant Fund to support the $4.7 million acquisition cost of the specialized firefighting vessel.
In her remarks to the assembled crowd prior to boarding the vessel to lead the christening ceremony, Senator Mayfield said, “The Port is growing rapidly and is a great partner for the economic development of the Space Coast, and I am honored to be part of the process, getting us to where we are right now.”
Florida State Fire Marshal, Division Director Julius Halas, attended on behalf of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis. Director Halas spoke about the enhanced firefighting abilities of Port Canaveral’s Fireboat 2. “This fireboat will not only protect those who are employed here, those who have their commercial enterprise here, but also the people who travel through Port Canaveral, which is vital to the cruise industry,” stated Halas.
CFO Jimmy Patronis offered, “You can’t predict fire emergencies. That is why it is so important that our fire service community has the tools and resources to protect Florida’s families, communities, and businesses. Fireboat 2 will greatly improve emergency response time, as well as serve as an on-scene command vessel for rescue missions. As the Port continues to grow and expand its operations, this fireboat will be an invaluable resource for protecting the port and surrounding communities.”
Fireboat 2 is maintained in a 24/7 ready state and operated for Port Canaveral by Canaveral Fire Rescue. The highly specialized Marine Firefighting Rescue Vessel (MFRV) was custom-built for Port Canaveral by Jeanerette, La.-based shipbuilder Metal Shark. The model “70 Defiant” vessel provides enhanced marine firefighting and response capabilities to serve Port Canaveral’s expanding maritime and commercial space industry operations. The MFRV capabilities are a Port-wide and regional asset, available for immediate callout for all emergencies in the Port area. It enhances several National Preparedness Core Capabilities, including Fire Management and Suppression, Emergency Medical Services, and CBRNE Screening, Search and Detection. The MFRV will also be equipped with a communications system to function as an On-Scene command vessel for any maritime mass rescue operations.
Canaveral Fire Rescue Chief Dave Sargeant thanked the Canaveral Port Authority and elected officials for their support of the department’s mission. “Fireboat 2 was built for the future and will protect people for twenty-plus years to come. It’s an honor to work at a Port that puts safety first,” said Chief Sargeant.
The 75-by-22-foot welded aluminum monohull pilothouse vessel has a total expected flow rate in excess of 8,500 gallons per minute and equipped with conventional and dry-chemical firefighting apparatus, along with a 500-gallon foam tank with gravity fast feed capability and a Purple-K dry-chemical firefighting system. The vessel also has an emergency medical treatment area on board and a communications system to function as an on-scene command vessel for maritime rescue operations.
Fireboat 2 is powered by quad 800-horsepower MAN diesel engines mated to quad Hamilton waterjets, delivering a cruise speed in the 30-knot range and a top speed of 35 knots. The fireboat is fitted with twin Darley fire pumps rated at 3,000 GPM each feeding two 2,000 GPM remote operated bow monitors, a 5,000 GPM remote operated rooftop monitor, two 1,250 GPM manually operated aft deck monitors, two aft deck risers with dual 2.5” hand line connections, and dual 5” Storz hydrant outlets.
Port Canaveral took delivery of Fireboat 2 on January 25, 2021. In March, the boat supported the arrival of the newly constructed Q-LNG4000 articulated LNG bunker barge, and in early June she supported the LNG refueling operation of Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered cruise ship in North America.