Sunday, 3rd June 2012.
The latest in a long line of fire boats on the river, London
Fire Brigade currently maintains one operational fire boat
to respond to incidents and to support the operational
crews from its land-based stations. The brigade has a
second boat which is used for training and as a reserve
when the duty boatneed servicing. Both built by
Almarintec of Northumberland in 1998 they are driven by
two Hamilton water jets. Each unit provides 500 litres per
second of thrust being powered by 2 x Volvo TAMD 63
engines producing 370 horsepower at 2800 rev/min. The
Fireboat's rescue capabilities include 3 inflatable mud
mats, a 'Jason's cradle' for picking up casualties from the
river and a bow ramp which can be lowered for beaching
and landing on the foreshore. The fire fighting facilities
include a monitor which can deliver water from the
Thames at 1850 litres per minute at 10 bars. In addition
the boats have two delivery outlets which can supply
water via a hose ashore arrangement for land crews. A
separate Hughes noble ejector pump is available for
"pumping out" vessels taking on water. The large stable
deck area is an ideal working platform for casualty care,
and on occasions casualties have even been lowered onto
it by helicopter.
Fire Hawk was ordered by the London Council for the
London Fire Brigade in 1975. The design of vessel chosen
was the 45ft Nelson GRP hull, this type of vessel is
extensively used for Pilot duties, police and other service
craft around the world as they represent one of the
strongest and best sea-keeping vessels of this size ever
constructed. Fire Hawk served the London Fire Brigade
continuously until the year 2000 when she was sold to a
company in Southern Ireland. She worked extensively out
of Arklow until her contract was terminated in 2010.
At this time, she was put up for sale and bought privately.
There was a certain amount of remedial work needed
before she was re-launched and used and since being
asked to join the Pageant an intensive re-fit has begun.
Merseyside-Marine Fire One
The MF&RS Marine Rescue Unit maintains a continuous 24-
hour a day, 365 days a year service providing a rapid and
effective rescue service for all river users. MF&RS Marine
Rescue Unit has a scope of operation that includes 60 miles of
In 2006 Merseyside Fire Authority agreed to invest in a new
and improved rescue craft that would better equip rescue
crews for the demands placed upon them in the unique
environment of the Mersey Estuary and provide a much
improved level of protection for the community. They
appointed Liverpool Boat Manufacturers to construct a boat
that was fit for purpose.
The Boat the 'MST Rescue 1000' was brought into Service in
2008. Capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots the boat is 10.5
meters in length and is powered by twin 370 hp diesel engines.
The Boat is kept permanently on the water and is continually
manned. This provision combined with the boats exceptional
capabilities means that most casualties are recovered from the
water within 3 minutes of the Rescue Launch being called out.
It is this rapid and skilled response that invariably makes a life
or death difference.
Representing Scotland as part of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.