Vigilance, the second of the Port of Long Beach’s two new fireboats, was officially brought into service at America’s second busiest port on Monday, and together with its twin Protector (delivered in 2016), will replace fireboats Challenger and Liberty that entered service in the late 1980s.
Vigilance and Protector, designed
by Robert Allan Ltd. and built by Foss Maritime Co., cost a combined $51.6 million. Jensen Maritime Consultants served as construction manager.
Each vessel features 10 water cannons capable of extinguishing fires in the harbor or on nearby land with more than 41,000 gallons per minute — four times the output of the previous fireboats. They can shoot water the length of two football fields, and higher than a 20-story building.
The fireboats are equipped with a suite of other emergency response features, including facilities for medical treatment, a Command Information Center, boom deployment to contain spills and an onboard crane. They are also able to assist with chemical, biological and nuclear threats.
“These fireboats are technological marvels, able to turn on a dime, move sideways and throw water or foam anywhere on the world's largest container ships and oil tankers
,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “They are vital to ensure the flow of commerce, and important parts of the best-in-nation services we provide our customers.”
“A capable fleet of fireboats that bring the best modern technology has to offer is essential in minimizing loss and maximizing business continuity for the port,” said Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee. “These amazing vessels will help us better serve the Port of Long Beach.”
“Vigilance and Protector will live up to their names in safeguarding the nation’s second-busiest seaport and represent a major upgrade in firefighting and security at the Port of Long Beach,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum.
Vigilance was dedicated in a dockside ceremony for the late Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Dr. John Kashiwabara, a Korean War veteran who served as a commissioner from 1996-2002 and was the first Japanese American named
to the Board. He died in 2010.