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Metal Shark building new generation of fireboats for Miami

Apr 16, 2019 01:20 PM

The 50-foot Defiant X vessels will be powered by twin inboards mated to waterjets

Courtesy Metal Shark

The following is text of a news release from Metal Shark:

(JEANERETTE, La.) — Metal Shark has been selected to build the next generation of fireboats for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department.

Miami-Dade has selected the Metal Shark 50 Defiant X fireboat, a welded aluminum monohull vessel featuring a proven hull form and a specialized arrangement optimized for firefighting. The new fireboats are being built at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, La., production facility and are intended to replace older fireboats currently operated by the department. There will be multiple vessels, with deliveries commencing in 2020.

The 50-by-15-foot vessels will be powered by twin inboard diesel engines mated to water jet propulsion units, with exact specifications to be announced. Projected top speed is in excess of 45 knots. At a more economical cruise 30-knot cruise speed, the vessels are expected to deliver a nominal operating range of approximately 250 nautical miles.

The new vessels were designed by Metal Shark’s in-house engineering team and have modern crew-friendly features for improved safety and efficiency. Mission-enhancing features include Metal Shark’s signature “Pillarless Glass” pilothouse arrangement, which offers improved visibility from the wheelhouse compared to the smaller framed windows used on the outgoing vessels.

The 50 Defiant X fireboat features a reverse-raked windshield arrangement with large overhead skylights that provide upward visibility while approaching and operating alongside moving ships or elevated structures, or while keeping overhead aircraft in view. A full complement of modern firefighting equipment will allow crews to safely and efficiently conduct the full spectrum of marine fire rescue response missions.

With the acquisition, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, one of the largest fire departments in Florida, will join a growing list of Metal Shark fireboat operators.

“While Metal Shark builds over 200 boats per year and we are perhaps best known for the large fleets of military vessels we design and build, we continue to expand our presence in the fireboat market,” said Dean Jones, Metal Shark’s vice president of sales for fire, law enforcement, and specialty markets. “In the past 18 months, Metal Shark has added nearly 10 new fire rescue customers.”

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