East Jefferson Fire-Rescue to reveal name of new boat during Wednesday ceremony in Port Townsend

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — East Jefferson Fire-Rescue’s new boat will be christened in a public ceremony this week.

The name of the 33-foot Argus class boat will be revealed at the ceremony at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the public dock at the end of Taylor Street, said Bill Beezley, fire department spokesman.

Officials with the city, Port of Port Townsend and Jefferson County are expected to attend.

The boat was built by Lee Shore Boats of Port Angeles, which makes custom aluminum boats, for about $455,000 and was funded by a 2011 Department of Homeland Security port security grant.

The new fire boat will replace Boat Haven-based Volunteer, a 22-foot Lee Shore boat built in 2001.

Volunteer will be moved to the Cape George marina, where it will provide search-and-rescue services in and around Discovery Bay.

The new boat’s area of operations will include waters around Marrowstone Island and Indian Island, Port Townsend Bay, in Admiralty Inlet and along the northern part of the Quimper Peninsula.

The new vessel “serves several purposes for us,” said Chief Gordon Pomeroy.

“First, it allows us to move Volunteer over to Discovery Bay, where there currently are no marine assets for water rescue.

“Second, this boat is larger and much more capable, allowing us to safely respond to those more challenging water rescues off of Point Wilson.”

Powered by twin Yamaha 250s, the vessel reached 46 knots — more than 50 mph — in a recent sea trial.

A Kodiak 5.7-liter, 330-horsepower V-8 engine, coupled with an American Turbine Jet SD309, makes the boat capable of pumping 1,250 gallons per minute at 125 pounds per square inch or up to 3,000 gpm at 50 psi, Beezley said.

“The pumping capacity of the new boat will significantly improve our water firefighting capability in and around our two marinas and along the Port Townsend waterfront,” Pomeroy said.

The onboard pump can provide water to apparatus on land if city water supplies are disrupted during a disaster, Beezley said.

Through a unique diverter system, the firefighting pump engine also can output thrust from the stern of the vessel, providing a speed of up to about 6 knots.

This allows operators to shut down the outboards and maneuver solely with the thrust from the pump engine when retrieving people from the water, eliminating a chance of injury from the propellers, Beezley said.

An extended cabin and casualty bench will allow emergency personnel to treat patients while underway.

The boat has been stored at the Port Townsend Fire Station at 35 Critter Lane.

Fire department commissioners decided on a name last week but won’t announce it until Wednesday, Beezley said.

In the past five years, the fire department has acted in response to 48 water rescues and six marine craft fires, Beezley said.

Last modified: June 29. 2014 7:07PM
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