Port Canaveral’s New High-Tech Fireboat Will Provide Enhanced Firefighting, Rescue Capabilities

By  //  November 11, 2019

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$4.6 million vessel will protect maritime and commercial space operations

Builders of a specialized fireboat for Port Canaveral have released details about the high-tech vessel, which will provide marine firefighting and rescue capabilities for the Port and surrounding communities. (Port Canaveral image)

BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Builders of a specialized fireboat for Port Canaveral have released details about the high-tech vessel, which will provide marine firefighting and rescue capabilities for the Port and surrounding communities.

Jeanerette, La.-based shipbuilder Metal Shark was awarded a contract by the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners to custom build “70 Defiant” fireboat, also known as the Marine Firefighting Rescue Vessel (MFRV).

The vessel will offer enhanced fire protection and response time capabilities to serve expanding maritime and commercial space industry operations at the Port.

“With Port Canaveral’s significant growth in the past few years and next year’s arrival of the first LNG-powered cruise ship to homeport in North America, we made the proactive move to upgrade our firefighting and emergency response resources,” stated Capt. John Murray, Port CEO.

“This fireboat will greatly enhance the core capabilities of our first responders to ensure the safety and security of our Port. “

With an estimated cost of $4.6 million, the 70-by-22-foot welded aluminum monohull pilothouse vessel was designed by Metal Shark’s in-house engineering team utilizing a military-proven hull form.

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The MFRV will have a total expected flow rate in excess of 8,500 gallons per minute and will be 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 will have an emergency medical treatment area onboard and a communications system to function as an on-scene command vessel for maritime rescue operations.

“Port Canaveral is raising the bar in the maritime industry’s commitment to best environmental practices,” said Capt. John Murray, Port CEO. “Green Marine certification is more than a one-time achievement and involves responsibility for the implementation of long-term sustainable environmental goals.”

“The enhanced capability of this fireboat will serve the Port for many years, helping to keep our community safe well into the future,” said Barry Compagnoni, Senior Director, Public Safety and Security with the Port.

Port Canaveral’s fireboat will be 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 will be 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.

The MFRV will be maintained in a 24/7 ready state and operated for Port Canaveral by Canaveral Fire Rescue and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

“The 70 Defiant is the result of the latest thinking in fireboat design and will provide a significant capability boost for Canaveral Fire,” said Dean Jones, Metal Shark’s vice president of sales for law enforcement, fire rescue, and specialty markets.

Florida Rep. Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island), far left, Florida Sen. Debbie Mayfield (R-Melbourne), center, and Florida Sen. Tom Wright (R-New Smyrna Beach), fifth from right, present the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners and Port Director and CEO Capt. John Murray, far right, with a $1.5 million check from the State of Florida to partly fund a high-tech, $4.8 million fireboat. The 65-foot Marine Firefighting Rescue Vessel will service the Port and surrounding communities. Mayfield and Florida Rep. Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) co-sponsored the state grant funding appropriation for the vessel. (CPA image)

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“From the selection and integration of firefighting systems to the layout of the vessel’s fire control center, operator input was vital and significantly influenced the vessel’s configuration. Heavy emphasis was placed on accessibility and overall ease of use, and the result is a purpose-built fire fighting machine with next-level capabilities and a crew-friendly layout that firefighters will love.”

The MFRV has an October 2020 anticipated delivery. In July, the Canaveral Port Authority was awarded $1.5 million in funding from the State of Florida Office of the Fire Marshal and an additional $1 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Port Security Grant Fund to support the acquisition of the specialized firefighting vessel.