If it isn't safe bouncing around on a truck how the heck is it safe in a boat on the water bouncing around. VFD had good cause to go after Metalcraft for damages.
Vancouver firefighters, eager to deploy two new boats, were disappointed last week when one of the vessels was, ironically, damaged by fire during transport.
“It’s an unfortunate delay, but totally accidental. We have been really excited to get these new boats,” said Vancouver Fire and Rescue spokesman Capt. Jonathan Gormick on Tuesday.
The two boats, worth approximately $1.5 million apiece, were custom built for Vancouver in Kingston, Ont., by MetalCraft Marine to replace the fire department’s two aging water craft. The boats were supposed to be delivered in March, but were delayed because they were landlocked in ice following a bitterly cold winter in Ontario.
But as the long-awaited, 43-foot vessels were being transported to Vancouver by tractor trailer last week, there was a malfunction with the packaging, said Gormick. The fire broke out near Scugog, a town close to Durham, Ont.
“It appears an electrical connection shorted and a fire broke out,” he said. “It was on a big trailer and something may have bounced around … the packaging came loose and a fire started. The fire was contained in the engine, but it is being assessed to get the scope of the damage before it is repaired.”
There is no concern that the boat is unsafe because of the fire, said Gormick, adding that the vessel had been taken apart to transport.
He did not know how long it would take to repair the damaged boat, but said firefighters will continue to use the old boats until the new ones are ready. Gormick added that MetalCraft, or its insurers, will be on the hook for repair costs. The company did not return calls by deadline.
One of the new boats arrived on Monday, and is being held at a marina in North Vancouver until staff can be trained.
The old boats are past their 20-year service life and are costly to maintain, said Gormick. “These new boats are bigger and faster, capable of doing more and keeping crew safe,” he said. Each boat has a pumping capacity of 7,000 gallons per minute at 150 psi, and a complement of 40 specially trained firefighters......