Fireboats in Singapore

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The Firefighter II was a legacy fireboat, previously operated by the Maritime Port Authority.

As a major port, there is a long history of fireboats in Singapore.[1][2]

In 2012 the Singapore Civil Defence Force took over responsibility from the Maritime and Port Authority for fighting maritime fires.[3]

In March 2013 the legacy fireboats Firefighter I and Firefighter II were modernized.[4]

In May 2017 the SCDF Marine Division acquired two new fireboats, the Red Swordfish and the Blue Swordfish.[5] The two vessels are high speed fireboats that can project 5000 litres per minute. Their maximum speed is 40 knots.

In October 2018 the SCDF commissioned the White Swordfish, with similar specifications to the Red Swordfish and the Blue Swordfish.[6][7]

In 2019 three new fireboats were commissioned in Singapore, boosting the size of the Singapore Civil Defence Force fleet to eight vessels.[8][9] One of those vessels was able to throw 240,000 gallons per minute, which Singapore authorities asserted made it the world's most powerful fireboat.[10] The three new vessels supplement three small fireboats and two medium fireboats.

The Red Sailfish, commissioned on August 20, 2019, which will become operational in 2020, can project 240000 litres per minute.[8][9] Her superstructure is pressurized, for protection against chemical, biological or radiological threats. She has decontamination showers, and an infirmary, for rescuing injured individuals. She has a stern launching ramp for a rescue boat. She is also equipped with a unique navigational aid - an autopilot designed to keep the vessel on station, when the thrust from her water cannons is pushing her off position. Her maximum speed is 20 knots. She is capable of "dynamic positioning".[10]

The hull of the Red Manta, also commissioned on August 20, 2019, which will also become operational in 2020, is a catamaran, and she is designed to be able to hold 300 rescuees.[8][9] She can project 45000 litres per minute. She has 12 decontamination showers. She also has a large boardroom, which can serve as a headquarters, when multiple emergency vessels and vehicles need to be coordinated. She has a helicopter landing pad, with a winch for landings in high sea states. Her maximum speed is 35 knots.

The Red Dolphin, also commissioned on August 20, 2019, which will also become operational in 2020, can project 88300 litres per minute, just over a third of Red Sailfish's capacity.[8][9][11] However, this is comparable to the capacity of the larger fireboats of other major ports. She too has decontamination showers, and an infirmary. She too has a superstructure offering CBR protection. Her maximum speed is 30 knots.

In 2019, the Marine Division's Rescue Jet Ski (RJ) was unveiled. It is a rescue equipment to facilitate shallow water operations. The RJ is designed for conducting swift water rescue of casualties in shallow waters without fear of grounding due to its shallow draft and towing sled.[12]

Red Sailfish and Red Manta represented the SCDF, with 11 other vessels, from other agencies, in a ceremonial sailpast, celebrating Singapore's National Day, on August 3, 2020.[13] It was the first sailpast in 20 years.

References

  1. Fairplay International Shipping Weekly, Financial Times, pp. 36, 38. Retrieved on 2019-08-21.
  2. New High Speed Fireboat for Singapore, BMT, 2019-03-20. Retrieved on 2019-08-21. “The firefighting capability is designed to be fully redundant with three monitors and three pumps interconnected with a total discharge flow rate of 3600 m3/h. The vessel is equipped with mission-enabling features such as self-spray protection, foam system, and ability to be used as a pump station to support larger-scale landside operations.”
  3. Hariz Baharudin. Singapore Civil Defence Force unveils new vessels to boost firefighting at sea, The New Paper, 2017-05-04. Retrieved on 2019-08-21. “SCDF took over marine firefighting and rescue operations from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) five years ago.”
  4. Refurbishment of Firefighting Vessels, Litaocean, 2013-03-27. Retrieved on 2019-08-21. “Firefighter I and Firefighter II have been given a new lease of life with a new paint job and an interior refurbishment.”
  5. New High-Speed Fireboat for Singapore, Seawork magazine, 2019-05-22. Retrieved on 2019-08-21.
  6. Toh Ting Wei. New fast-response boat to boost SCDF's ability to tackle ship fires, Straits Times, 2018-10-28. Retrieved on 2019-08-21. “It is the third Rapid Response Fire Vessel (RFV) - purpose-built vessels designed by SCDF Marine Command - to be launched. The previous RFVs, named Red Swordfish and Blue Swordfish, were commissioned in May last year by Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam.”
  7. Toh Tiing Wei. Third SCDF Rapid Response Fire Vessel launched, will serve northern waters of Singapore, Straits Times, 2018-10-17. Retrieved on 2020-08-04. “SCDF said that the White Swordfish can respond effectively to ship fires due to it being able to reach speeds of more than 40 knots with its water jet propulsion, and having powerful firefighting monitors.”
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Kevin Kwang. SCDF unveils 'world's most powerful firefighting vessel' to boost response to maritime emergencies, Channel News Asia, 2019-08-20. Retrieved on 2019-08-21. “Three new firefighting vessels, including one the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) touted as the “world’s most powerful firefighting vessel”, was commissioned by Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam on Tuesday (Aug 20).”
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Charmaine Ng. SCDF unveils 'world's most powerful marine firefighting vessel', Straits Times, 2019-08-20. Retrieved on 2019-08-21. “Three new marine firefighting vessels - including the world's most powerful in terms of water output - were commissioned by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on Tuesday (Aug 20).”
  10. 10.0 10.1 Singapore Commissions "World's Most Powerful" Firefighting Boat, Maritime Executive, 2019-08-20. Retrieved on 2020-08-04. “On Tuesday, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) formally commissioned three new firefighting vessels for its marine division, including what the department claims to be the 'world's most powerful firefighting vessel.'
  11. Penguin delivers firefighting boat to Singapore Civil Defense Force, Baird Maritime, 2019-03-29. Retrieved on 2019-08-21. “The SCDF firefighting boat has a length of 35 metres, a rescued passenger lounge for up to 30 people, three firefighting pumps with a discharge flow rate of 3,600 cubic metres per hour, and the ability to launch and recover a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB).”
  12. SCDF's Latest Initiatives As Unveiled at the SCDF Workplan Seminar 2019 (en).
  13. Prisca Ang. NDP 2020: Maritime sail-past returns to National Day Parade after 20 years; will involve 13 vessels gliding past Marina Bay skyline, Straits Times, 2020-08-03. Retrieved on 2020-08-04. “Other vessels in the column are the PCG's PH-class coastal patrol craft, the SCDF's heavy fire vessel Red Sailfish and heavy rescue vessel Red Manta, and the MPA's patrol craft MPA 1.”