NYC fireboat Three Forty Three departs Fla. shipyard

The following is the text of a press release issued by Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc.:
(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that the first of two New York City Fireboats departed our Nelson Street, Panama City facility on Saturday, April 24, for its delivery voyage to New York.
The vessel Three Forty Three is named in honor of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
These new, state of the art vessels will completely modernize the Marine Operations department of FDNY, with the Three Forty Three replacing the fifty year old John D. McKean and the Fire Fighter II replacing the seventy year old Fire Fighter. Their state of the art 140 foot, 500 ton Fireboats will be able to pump 50,000 gallons of water per minute – 30,000 gallons more than their predecessors – providing the greatest pumping capacity of any Fireboat in the world.
The Three Forty Three was designed by the Vancouver based naval architect Robert Allan Ltd. Some of the designed features include the capability of protecting firefighters from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear agents (CBRN). While performing in any of these hostile environments, the crew will be protected in a pressurized area that will also have its air supply filtered by special charcoal and HEPA filters. It is powered by four MTU main engines each producing 2,000 hp and can reach speeds up to 18 knots. The pilot house offers a 360 degree view as well as a command and control area where Chief Officers will be able to monitor and direct the operations with the aid of remote cameras and a large array of state-of-the-art communication equipment.
The second Fireboat, the Firefighter II, is scheduled to join the New York fleet mid-summer.
The Principle characteristics of the vessels are:
• Length, overall = 140′-0″
• Length, waterline = 130’–0″
• Beam, moulded = 36’–0″
• Depth, moulded = 16’–0″
• Draft (maximum) = 9’–0″
• Air draft design loaded waterline to highest point = 39’–0″ (maximum)
• Main Engines = MTU 4×2000 HP- total = 8,000 HP
• Propellers and Reduction Gears = Hundested 4 X Variable Pitch Propellers
• Fuel oil = 6,850 US gallons (trial condition), = 9,350 US gallons (maximum capacity)
• Fresh water capacity = 1,000 US gallons
• Foam concentrate = 3,600 US gallons (total)
• Sewage holding tank = 100 US gallons
• Oily water = 120 US gallons
• Sludge = 60 US gallons
• Decon wastewater tank = 100 US gallons
• Calm water trial speed – 20 mph at fully loaded condition operating at 100% vessel power rating (8,000 hp) and 15% sea margin.
• Design seastate – 6′ significant wave height
• Pumping capacity – 20,000 gpm on two engines as fire-fighting ship and 50,000 gpm on four engines as pumping station
• Monitor throw – 700′ from midships
• Operating crew – seven (7)
• Fire-fighters – 27 in transit
Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., of Panama City, Florida, has been in business since 1976 building, converting and repairing vessels in steel and aluminum of all types including tugs, barges, support vessels, firefighting, crew vessels, barges, ferries, fishing vessels and towboats.
By Professional Mariner Staff