Hamburg’s new fireboat First milestone reached – ceremonial keel laying

Hamburg, 26 April 2017 – Currently, the fireboat’s dimensions can only be guessed. But at its ceremonial keel laying at the Fasser Werft – commissioned by the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) – in Berne in Lower Saxony, many guests were able to get a first look at the new boat. With a length of 43 metres, a width of 10 metres and room for up to 32 emergency personnel, it will be the biggest boat in operation in the history of Hamburg’s Fire Brigade. Following its delivery in the coming year, it will be an important pillar for the HPA fleet management, which will officially start on July 1, in terms of safety in the Port of Hamburg. At the end of 2019, two additional smaller fireboats will complete the safety concept of the Port of Hamburg.

A keel laying can be compared to a groundbreaking ceremony. This maritime tradition marks the start of installation and is meant to provide good luck to the boat and its future crew during the construction phase as well as while in use. During the symbolic act, Interior State Council Bernd Krösser, Fire Chief Klaus Maurer, and the Head of the HPA Fleet Management Karsten Schönewald attached a coin for good luck to the already recognizable hull.

The equipment sets standards

Not only the size of Hamburg’s new fireboat presents a superlative. Its equipment also sets new standards: its three water cannons are able to spray up to 180 metres wide and 110 metres high – which is three to four times more than the existing fireboats. At the same time, it can pump 120,000 litres of extinguishing water per minute – twelve times more than so far. The manoeuvrable boat can reach up to 12 knots with a performance of 2 x 500 kW. It features two rudder propellers and two bow thrusters. In addition, it offers a self-protection system for the emergency personnel, a protected air system (‘citadel’) and a dynamic positioning system.

A quantum leap in technology for firefighting

“I am very happy that this high-performance fireboat is now in construction and that we are able to include it into our HPA fleet next year. In only a few weeks, the new HPA fleet management will pick up speed; the entire fleet will be steered centrally by the HPA,” says Karsten Schönewald, Head of HPA Fleet Management. He continues: “In addition to the safety aspects, our focus is also on the ecology. The boat is equipped with a modern, environment-friendly exhaust gas treatment – a diesel particle filter and a catalyst. With this, the emission limits (EU 5) expected to come into effect from 2020 onwards will already be attained when the boat is commissioned.”

Bernd Krösser, State Council of the Ministry for Internal Affairs and Sports, says: “The new fireboat also stands for the continuous work for the safety of the City of Hamburg and the Port of Hamburg. It helps making the port even more modern and safe.”

Fire Chief Klaus Maurer: “The joint fleet management allows Hamburg’s Fire Brigade to focus entirely on its professional tasks when using the new fireboats. The fireboat’s performance values represent a quantum leap in firefighting technology as well as in accident assistance. This is an important step for Hamburg’s Fire Brigade to secure its efficiency for the safety of the port as well as the citizens of Hamburg.”