A second new fireboat was officially brought into service in mid- November last at the Port of Long Beach, California, completing a project to provide the most robust waterborne safety of any container port in the world.

The Vigilance was dedicated in a dockside ceremony for the former Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Dr John Kashiwabara, who died in 2010.

The Vigilance has joined her sister fireboat Protector, dedicated in 2016, and they have replaced the Challenger and Liberty which entered service in the late-1980s and were designed in an era of vessels carrying 4,500 containers. The largest vessel that has called at Long Beach carried 18,000 containers and the port regularly handles 14,000 teu ships.

“These new fireboats are technological marvels, able to turn on a dime, move sideways and throw water or foam anywhere on the world’s largest container ships and oil tankers,” said the port’s executive director Mario Cordero.

The new fireboat has 10 water cannons capable of extinguishing fires in the harbour or on nearby land with more than 41,000 gallons a minute, four times the output of the previous fireboats. They can shoot water the length of two football fields and higher than a 20-storey building.

The fireboats have a suite of other emergency response features, including facilities for medical treatment, a Command Information Centre, boom deployment to contain spills and an onboard crane. They can also assist with chemical, biological and nuclear threats.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - January 2018 Issue
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