A Different Kind of Fireboat

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When the U.S. Coast Guard in Tampa Bay, Florida, found the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue’s aging 27-foot Boston Whaler inadequate, the county applied for a FEMA grant and got themselves a new boat.

The $700,000 aluminum vessel was launched last year and supplements Tampa Bay’s existing firefighting capability. The 38-foot Munson Packcat has quad 250-hp Yamahas outboards that give the twin-hull boat a top speed of 43 knots. The 28-inch draft allows navigation of the Bay’s many shallow areas and the bow drops landing-craft style so stretchers can be loaded during medical emergencies. Its three deck guns can pump water and foam at 3,500 gallons per minute.

You can read more about the boat and see a video on the local Patch website.