The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department has ordered new fire boats from Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark to replace older models currently in operation.
The county has chosen the “50 Defiant X” fire boat, a 50-foot, welded aluminum monohull vessel with a proven hull form and a specialized arrangement optimized for firefighting. The boats will have twin inboard diesel engines and water jet propulsion units. Projected top speed is in excess of 45 knots. At a cruising speed of 30 knots, operating range is expected to be about 250nm, according to Metal Shark.
Designed by an in-house engineering team, the boats will be built at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, Louisiana, production facility.
“With these new vessels, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews will be able to respond faster and do their jobs more safely,” Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard stated. “This is a real win, not only for the firefighters, but especially for the people of South Florida.”
Waterways patrolled by Miami-Dade County fire boats include the beaches, shoreline, Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay, Port Miami, Miami-River Port, Fisher Island/Trans-Mountain Fuel Farm, Intracoastal Waterway and Florida Everglades, as well as inland lakes, bays and canals.
MDFR boats are staffed 24/7 for quick response to any incident/accident within the county’s jurisdiction, or when requested by the United States Coast Guard and/or state and county maritime law enforcement partners.