Metalcraft Marine Delivers for the Port of Houston

Posted by Irina Tabakina
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Photo: MetalCraft Marine

Houston’s New FiFi Fleet

The Port of Houston Authority’s firefighting team recently received the third and last in series of high-performance emergency response vessels, a fleet of new vessels designed to keep one of the country’s busiest and strategically important waterways safe: The Houston Ship Channel. The Port of Houston Fire Department operates three fire stations stationed along the 52-mile-long Channel, and emergency professionals respond to marine and land fires and other emergencies along the upper ship channel. The three new vessels – the Firestorm 70 command center and high-speed response vessel built by MetalCraft – is a central piece to completing its missions safely and efficiently.
The new Firestorm 70 has quad diesel inboard engines to propel the boat to a top speed of 45 knots, versus the port authority’s current fleet which clocks in at 14-16 knot range. When selecting the new boats, the improvement in speed was deemed important to providing fire protection for the ship channel. But the vessels are not simply fast, as they are designed to be highly maneuverable, able to make quick stops and direction changes within three boat lengths.
Part firehouse, part boat, the vessel enables the crew to stay on station for extended periods. The cabin includes a primary care berth with four secondary berths in the cuddy. Portable berths can be positioned in the aft equipment cabin to handle injuries during incident.
Four firefighting pumps can produce flow meter results of 13,600 gpm at 150 PSI and 17,000 GPM at 130 PSI and stream up to 450 ft. with a roof-mounted Stang monitor, which is a stark improvement to the Authority’s current fleet and is three times the discharge rate of any of the Port Authority fireboats being retired. As a shore hydrant, the FireStorm 70 can pump 7,000 GPM at 70 PSI through 1,000 ft. of hose from a 5 in. Storz outlet before staging pumps are required.
Each fireboat is 70 ft., 10 in. long with a breadth of 22 ft., 10 in. and a draft of 34 inches. Funds for these vessels come mostly from federal grants to replace the three aging fireboats commissioned in 1973 and 1983.
MetalCraft Marine is a fully integrated designer and manufacturer of custom high-performance fire, rescue, patrol, research and other specialized work boats. The business was established in 1987 has emerged as a leader in the design and manufacturing of aluminum water-jet propelled craft with more than 550 hulls built to date.

History

In 1924, a fire in the hold of a steamship carrying cotton prompted the Houston Fire Commissioner to declare that the Port of Houston needed adequate firefighting apparatus to attack fires from water as well as land. A bond election to pay for the city’s first fireboat passed with a wide margin. This election occurred just one day after a fire along the banks of the Houston Ship Channel spread to oil on the water and burned for more than two hours, with flames as high as 40 ft. As a result, the fireboat Port Houston was built in 1925 and delivered the following year to the delight of thousands of spectators watching its arrival. The following day, another 4,000 citizens turned out for a demonstration of the fireboat pumping water.  In 1950, a new replacement fireboat, the Captain Crotty, was purchased, christened and put into service. The crew fought five ship fires and six refinery fires in the boat’s first year of service. In fact, at a fire at the General American Tank Storage Terminal, the fireboat spent 44 continuous hours at the scene, pumping for 36 hours nonstop.
Houston Ship Channel industries began to install manifolds on their docks in the 1950s to ensure that water would reach incidents at their facilities. The Channel Industries Mutual Aid group was also formed at this time. In 1971, the state legislature gave the Port Authority specific duties that included providing “for the prevention, detection, control and fighting of fires and explosions on and adjacent to the waterways, channels and turning basins within its jurisdiction.”
With such increased responsibility, fire-fighting capability had to be improved. The fireboat Captain W.L Farnsworth was acquired in 1973. In 1981, the decision was made to retire the Captain Crotty and purchase two newer fireboats, the J.S. Bracewell and the Howard T. Tellepsen.

 

(As published in the June 2014 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - http://magazines.marinelink.com/Magazines/MaritimeReporter)

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Shipbuilding

MN 100: ContainerTug B.V.

The Company: ContainerTug B.V. is a specialized Dutch naval design engineering and construction company with a strong focus on developing workboats and the evaluation

Oman Drydock Company Expands Rapidly

Oman Drydock Company (ODC) is growing fast. In January, the yard hit an important milestone - its 300th drydocking. Harnessing the power of its new $1.8 billion, 1.

NASSCO Invests in Facilities, Equipment and People

General Dynamics NASSCO has invested several hundred million in capital projects as part of its efforts to increase efficiencies via  modular shipbuilding, including:

Workboats

MN 100: ContainerTug B.V.

The Company: ContainerTug B.V. is a specialized Dutch naval design engineering and construction company with a strong focus on developing workboats and the evaluation

MN 100: Bordelon Marine

The Company: Founded in 1979, Bordelon Marine is a leading provider of Marine Transportation services operating in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world. The

MN 100: Bouchard Transportation

The Company: Bouchard Transportation’s history dates back to its incorporation in 1918 by founder, Capt. Fred Bouchard, the youngest tugboat captain in the Port of New York.

Ports

United Heavy Lift Gears up for the Asian Boom

All set to expand its footprint in the South Asian market significantly, Hamburg based, United Heavy Lift (UHL) appointed strategically placed Lexicon Overseas Pvt Ltd.

USCG Reopens Key West Ports After Erika Dissipates

Effective 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, reopened Key West, Florida, ports, terminals and facilities due to Tropical Storm Erika dissipating.

DP World Profit Up 22%

Global marine terminal operator DP World today announced strong financial results from its global portfolio of marine terminals for the six months to 30 June 2015,

News

Syncrude Uncertain about Plant Fire Affecting Production

The operator of Canada's largest synthetic crude project said on Saturday it is investigating the causes of an early morning fire at an upgrading plant. Firefighters extinguished the blaze,

Hurricane Ignacio Gains Strength but Expected to Bypass Hawaii

Hurricane Ignacio intensified as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Saturday, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service.

United Heavy Lift Gears up for the Asian Boom

All set to expand its footprint in the South Asian market significantly, Hamburg based, United Heavy Lift (UHL) appointed strategically placed Lexicon Overseas Pvt Ltd.

Vessels

United Heavy Lift Gears up for the Asian Boom

All set to expand its footprint in the South Asian market significantly, Hamburg based, United Heavy Lift (UHL) appointed strategically placed Lexicon Overseas Pvt Ltd.

World’s Quickest Trip Through Northern Sea Route

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan intends to make it world’s quickest Northern Sea Route trip from Murmansk to the Bering Strait in 14 days without engine power. His

USCG Reopens Key West Ports After Erika Dissipates

Effective 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, reopened Key West, Florida, ports, terminals and facilities due to Tropical Storm Erika dissipating.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.8473 sec (1 req/sec)