RED BANK LANDS NEW FIRE BOAT – FREE

rb-fire-boatSoon to be churning up the waters of the Navesink: a former U.S. Coast Guard vessel, now getting a sprucing-up at the Red Bank public works garage. (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank’s fleet of emergency vehicles is about to get an addition.

Borough officials earlier this week took possession of a 22-foot SeaArk Marine boat with twin 130-horsepower Honda engines. And they got it for free.

rbfr-jet-skiThe boat will join this jet-ski on steroids, seen in 2008, as part of the waterborne emergency fleet. (Photo by Jessica Paviluk; click to enlarge)

The vessel, built in 2002, was surplus Coast Guard materiel inherited by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Parks and Forestry, which in turn made it available to municipalities.

Red Bank jumped aboard when it heard about it, says Administrator Stanley Sickels, who does double duty as borough fire marshal.

“It’s in immaculate condition,” Sickels tells redbankgreen.

The boat, which comes with a trailer, needs emergency lights, a radio and pumper, which will be installed at minimal cost to the borough, Sickels says.

It will be berthed most of the year at the borough marina at Marine Park, joining a customized jet ski. Another boat, a 1986 vessel loaned by a firefighter, will be returned to its owner, Sickels says.

The all-volunteer fire department waterborne fleet is available to help during boating emergencies and is occasionally called in by other towns to help put out fires. But it’s most needed in the event there’s a fire at one of the borough’s marinas, which fire trucks might have difficulty accessing because of their locations, Sickel says.

The boat is technically to remain under the ownership of the DEP, which has dibs on it when needed, Sickels says.