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TV star donates 27-foot rescue boat

The new Whaler Vigilant has a pump capable of spraying 780 gallons of water per minute

The new Whaler Vigilant has a pump capable of spraying 780 gallons of water per minute

Denis Leary, the Massachusetts native, comedian, actor and star of the FX television series “Rescue Me,” donated a new high-speed fire rescue boat to the Boston Fire Department Aug. 15.

“I’m proud that this new rescue boat will enhance the Boston Fire Department’s efforts to secure historic Boston Harbor in an efficient and effective way,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston said at the ceremony.

A donation from Leary’s charity, the Leary Firefighters Foundation, the 27-foot Boston Whaler is a third the size and three times faster than Boston’s 30-year-old fire boat.

The new Whaler Vigilant comes equipped with four searchlights, 450 hp engine, GPS, radar and a pump capable of delivering 780 gallons of water per minute. The customized vessel includes a 45-inch dive/rescue door, chafe plate at dive door opening, engine crash rail, stainless steel cutwater, tow post and an electronics package. The unsinkable Whaler boat has a low profile and shallow draft, travels up to 39 knots and creates minimal wake.

The rescue boat will be named after Norman Knight, founder and president of the Boston Chapter of the 100 Club, a national charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

The Leary Firefighters Foundation’s mission is to provide funding and resources for Fire Departments in Massachusetts and New York to obtain the highest level of equipment, training and technology. The foundation was established in 2000 by Denis Leary in response to a fire in a Worcester, Mass., abandoned warehouse that claimed the lives of six firefighters, including Denis’ cousin and a childhood friend.