Northwind Supplies Fire/Rescue Boat Virginia Beach

Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Another of Northwind Marine's 30-ft. Argus class fire, search, and rescue boats has headed east from Seattle, Wash. The boat was built for Virginia Beach, Va., where fire, rescue, and police departments watch over the waterways, marinas, and other facilities in the Hampton Roads area of Chesapeake Bay.

The aluminum boat with decades of design and construction experience behind it joined a department with active fire and rescue operations. The Argus class vessels built by Northwind Marine are supplied for fire fighting and search and rescue missions involving both marine and onshore operations. The craft offer 1000-gpm pumping capacity for fighting marine fires with monitors and other types of nozzles and up to 3000 gpm when operating as a water supply source or provisioning shore equipment.

The main fire pump discharges to a manifold system that serves a variety of outlets including a bow monitor. A 5-in. main supplies a 5-in. swivel Storz outlet as well as other ports at the stern. These include two vertical 2-1/2-in. capped outlets, a 3-in. monitor standpipe off a 3-in. line, a 1-1/2-in. ball valve outlet arranged in the cockpit, and a hose bed. The boat has an overall length of 30 feet with a maximum beam of 9 ft. 6 in.and a dead rise angle of 18 degrees. The boat is propelled by a pair of 200-hp Mercury Optimat outboards.

A 12-volt dc system is charged by an alternator on an outboard engine. Northwind installed a circuit breaker distribution panel for circulation fans, windshield wipers, and a bilge detection and blower system. The owner provided a 7 BCGD gasoline generator as well with a distribution panel and 12-volt accessory outlets in the cabin. A portside shore power connection includes a 30-amp shore power cord.

The master cabin offers the operator's station, a combined navigator station and casualty bench with backboard tie-down rings, and an additional work station aft. The cutty cabin forward includes an equipment shelf. Heavy duty rubber D fenders were installed around the bow, with black inflatable fendering around the sheer. A 31-inch wide dive/rescue door on the starboard side incorporates a diver recovery step.

Argus boats are fabricated from aluminum plates using CAD/CAM engineering with all plate shapes cut by an NC controlled plasma-cutting machine for a high degree of accuracy and consistency of parts. Positive hull flotation is maintained by watertight hull voids filled with closed cell USCG certified flotation units.

A spokesperson for the Virginia Beach department pointed out that the community maintains 19 fire stations, 12 rescue squads, and a variety of marine operations teams. The Virginia Beach fire and rescue teams can also be called on to assist surrounding communities under inter-community agreements. The boat is also available to the east coast intracoastal waterway which passes close to the community as well.

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