Saturday, December 4, 2010

Not exactly a tug, but..........

1. Firebird on her rounds this morning in the Narrows.

2. Some firefighters on deck. The boat is graced with some well made rope fenders - a rare sight these days when old tires seem to be the rule.

3. Sister fireboat Firebrand is based in the naval dockyard in Esquimalt, BC, May 12, 1986 photo.

The Canadian Forces Auxiliary Vessel Firebird is the only red painted vessel in Canada's east coast naval Dockyard. While not exactly a tug, it is built along more or less tug boat lines, but performs a very useful function.

As Dockyard fireboat it responds to fires and conducts regular fire and security patrols to various installations around the harbour. If called upon it could certainly tow a smaller vessel, in case of emergency, but its primary duty is firefighting.

It is one of two sister vessels, one on each coast, built by Vancouver Shipyard in North Vancouver, BC in 1978. Powered by 2-385 bhp Caterpillars, it also has two more 365 bhp Caterpillars for pumping. It can pump 2500 gpm @ 150 psi, without hindering its propulsion. (The force of spray in some cases would force the boat backwards, so it is important that it keep its station when fighting a fire.) It has z-drives (ASD) and three monitors rated at 1250 gpm. It also carries 500 gal of AFF (foam.)

Firebird arrived in Halifax in August 1978 on the barge G of G 240, towed by the tug Ocean Crown, which had been sold to Quebec owners - see following post.

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