Fire department acquires new boat

Aug 7, 2021

The fire department has a new boat to help with water rescue efforts. 

The department acquired a 14 1/2 foot Rescuecraft to replace the 10-foot, 16 year-old tiller-driven Zodiac currently in use. The Zodiac, District 1 Fire Chief Peter Andrade said, has “limited space and power.’’ 

“It’s been a goal of mine to upgrade that,’’ he said.

The new, 40-horsepower boat can accommodate eight people, unlike its predecessor, which was considerably smaller, Andrade said. 

This vessel, like the Zodiac that preceded it, can safely maneuver in smaller areas that the main fire boat, which is 30 feet long, cannot access, the chief said.

“This is a perfect boat for creeks and estuaries,’’ Andrade said. 

The boat is also versatile enough to be launched right from the banks along smaller waterways, including the Slocum River, Dike Creek, and “any areas a large boat can’t get to,’’ he said.

While the larger fire boat is stored during the winter, this vessel can be easily accessed any time of year, he said. This can help during incidents outside the traditional boating season, he said.

Time is crucial during water rescues, he said. “When someone needs help in the water, you’ve got to react quickly,’’ he said.

Department members will be training on the new vessel twice a month, he said. He predicts the department may need to use the boat two or three times during the summer.

The boat can also be used to help out during water activities, he said, such as the recent Buzzards Bay Regatta.