New Rescue Dive Boat Put In Service By BFD
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For Immediate Release
October 21, 2010
Released By:
Fire Department
For More Information Contact:
Steve MacDonald
PublicInfo.BFD@cityofboston.gov

The Boston Fire Department has put into service a new Rescue Dive Boat for use in Boston Harbor and the waterways of the City.

The boat is a specialized 30' RIBCRAFT 9.0 dive boat. RIBCRAFT®, the United States manufacturer of professional grade rigid inflatable boats (RIB) for fire departments, law enforcement, safety professionals and military agencies is based in Marblehead, MA.

The mission-specific RIB was delivered to the Boston Fire Department's Rescue Dive Team for search and rescue operations. Given the large active harbor with considerable commercial and recreational traffic, countless wharves and marinas, and many harbor islands and recreational areas within the city's jurisdiction, the new boat will provide the department with improved response times and enhanced on-water coverage.

“This boat is specifically designed to support the Dive Team when responding to on-water rescue situations. It’s speed and maneuverability is unparalleled and will greatly enhance our response capability” Boston Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser stated. “We were very happy to have it built locally by RIBCRAFT USA.”

Designed and built specifically for the Boston Fire Department, the 30' professional grade RIBCRAFT 9.0 is capable of supporting ten divers plus crew. It features a partially enclosed pilothouse with extended aluminum top, a drop down canvas enclosure for all weather protection, a large open aft deck, integrated dive ladder with platform, and secure storage for over 12 dive tanks. The vessel is intended to support the department's dive operations year round. With durability, reliability, and safety as one of the fire departments primary requirements, the RIB features a reinforced vinylester hull and a heavy duty Hypalon tube with multiple air chambers, pressure relief valves, high profile rubstrake, and tube reinforcing. It is equipped with twin 225HP Evinrude E-TEC outboard engines capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50 mph.

Divemaster / Marine Pilot-Firefighter Steve Murphy, who heads up the Rescue Dive Team states” We were able to be part of the design process. Our divers have years of experience and used it to have a boat built to meet our needs. With water incidents minutes count. This boat will allow us to arrive on scene in a quick and safe manner.”

The boat was funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security and cost $214,000.00

The boat will be referred to as MARINE UNIT 3 and will be docked at Burroughs Wharf in the North End. It is named the Captain John F. Kenney. The late Captain Kenney was a 29 year veteran of the Boston Fire Department and a member of the Rescue Dive Team. He died at the age of 48 after a long battle with cancer. 

About the Boston Fire Rescue Dive Team

The Boston Fire Rescue Dive Team is the only Rescue Dive Team in Boston Harbor that is manned 24 hours a day. It is made up of 20 firefighters from the neighborhood firehouses of the city. They have extensive experience with dive operations and must pass a rigorous test to be considered for the team. Some have military diving experience. Boston Fire always has several divers on duty and can respond quickly to an incident. Each diver carries their gear in their vehicles when off duty.  They have also trained with the US Coast Guard for deployment from their helicopters if needed. The team has also responded to incidents outside of Boston and Massachusetts when requested.

About RIBCRAFT
Headquartered in Marblehead, Massachusetts, RIBCRAFT designs and builds safe, durable, performance oriented rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) that fulfill the most demanding professional and recreational applications.  A leading manufacturer of professional grade RIBs and inflatables for safety professionals, military agencies, yacht clubs, and tour operators throughout the world, RIBCRAFT offers vessels starting at 14' capable of fulfilling most any mission.

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