With the 2009/10 Victorian bushfire season officially declared last week, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) is ready for action with its new Lake Eildon-based Marine Fire Rescue vessel.
Powered by twin Honda BF225 four-stroke outboards, the customised 9m Stabicraft aluminium vessel has full fire-fighting capabilities thanks to a through-hull water pick-up system capable of pumping 600L of water per minute.
CFA project officer David Goldfinch said the new vessel would play a vital role in the Eildon region this summer, which was devastated during the Black Saturday bushfires earlier this year.
“In addition to fighting fires on the water’s edge or from the water itself, the vessel will also support on-land operations in the area,” Mr Goldfinch said.
“The vessel can transport firefighters to areas inaccessible by road, has the ability to go right up against the shore to deploy crew quickly via a folding bow ramp, and can also operate as a reliable rescue vessel.”
With a fuel capacity of 300L and the ability to carry up to six people, the powerful V6 Honda engines deliver an approximate top speed of 75km/h, which will allow a response team to attend incidents as soon as they’re identified.
“In trial runs with the boat fully-loaded with fuel, fire-fighting equipment and with four people onboard, the vessel’s performance was 120 per cent better than we’d expected,” Mr Goldfinch said.
“The CFA is confident the Eildon region will be very well served with the latest addition to its arsenal… you can never have enough tools in the fight against bushfires.”
Based at Eildon Boat Club, the CFA’s new Marine Fire Rescue vessel would not have been possible with the assistance of Marine Safety Victoria, Honda Australia, MY Marine and various other organisations.
Honda Australia, Customer Relations – (03) 9270 1348