Ribcraft, manufacturer of professional grade rigid inflatable boats for law enforcement, safety professionals, and military agencies, announced the delivery of a specialized 30-ft Ribcraft 9.0 dive boat to the City of Boston Fire Department.
The mission specific RIB was delivered to the Boston Fire Department's Rescue Dive Team for search and rescue operations. Given the large active harbor with considerable commercial and recreational traffic, countless wharves and marinas, and many harbor islands and recreational areas within the city's jurisdiction, the new boat will provide the department with improved response times and enhanced on-water coverage.
“This boat is specifically designed to support the Dive Team when responding to on-water rescue situations. Its speed and maneuverability is unparalleled and will greatly enhance our response capability,” Boston Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser stated. “We were very happy to have it built locally by Ribcraft USA.”
Designed and built specifically for the Boston Fire Department, the 30-ft professional grade Ribcraft 9.0 is capable of supporting ten divers plus crew. It features a partially enclosed pilothouse with extended aluminum top, a drop down canvas enclosure for all weather protection, a large open aft deck, integrated dive ladder with platform, and secure storage for over 12 dive tanks. The vessel is intended to support the department's dive operations year round. With durability, reliability, and safety as one of the fire departments primary requirements, the RIB features a reinforced vinylester hull and a heavy duty Hypalon tube with multiple air chambers, pressure relief valves, high profile rubstrake, and tube reinforcing. It is equipped with twin 225HP Evinrude E-TEC outboard engines capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50 mph.
Divemaster / Marine Pilot-Firefighter and head of the Rescue Dive Team, Steve Murphy said, “We were able to be part of the design process. Our divers have years of experience and used it to have a boat built to meet our needs.” Murphy continued, “With water incidents minutes count. This boat will allow us to arrive on scene in a quick and safe manner.”
The boat will be referred to as Marine Unit 3 and will be docked at Burroughs Wharf in the North End. It is named the Captain John F. Kenney. The late Captain Kenney was a 29 year veteran of the Boston Fire Department and a member of the Rescue Dive Team. He died at the age of 48 after a long battle with cancer.