Howard T. Tellepsen (fireboat)

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Fireboat Howard T. Tellepsen in the Houston Ship Channel.

The Howard T. Tellepsen was a fireboat operated by the Houston Port Authority from 1983 to 2014.[1][2] She and her sister ship, the J.S. Bracewell, replaced the Port authority's second fireboat, the Captain Crotty, which had been in service since 1950. They joined the Captain J.L. Farnsworth, which had been in service since 1973.

The Port authority replaced the older vessels with three Metalcraft 70 fireboats, each of which was more powerful than the three retiring craft put together.[1][2][3][4]

The vessel was named after a real estate developer who was appointed to the Port authority.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 State-of-the-Art Emergency Response Vessel Headed Home, Port of Houston Authority, 2014-05-14. Retrieved on 2019-08-30. “In 1924, a fire in the hold of a steamship carrying cotton prompted the Houston Fire Commissioner to declare that the Port of Houston needed adequate firefighting apparatus to attack fires from water as well as land. A bond election to pay for the city's first fireboat passed with a wide margin. This election occurred just one day after a fire along the banks of the Houston Ship Channel spread to oil on the water and burned for more than two hours, with flames as high as 40 feet.”
  2. 2.0 2.1 Port Welcomes New Fireboats, Bay Area Houston magazine, 2014-03-14. Retrieved on 2019-08-30. “With a price tag of just under $5 million each, the three new fireboats recently purchased by the Port of Houston Fire Department represent the state-of-the-art in firefighting equipment.”
  3. Houston Fireboat to Navigate From Lake Michigan to Texas, Firehouse magazine, 2014-05-16. Retrieved on 2019-08-30. “A two-week voyage through four Great Lakes and the Mississippi River will bring to the Port of Houston Authority the third of three high-performance emergency response vessels.”
  4. Ken Hocke. MetalCraft delivers first of three new fireboats to the Port of Houston, Workboat magazine, 2013-06-13. Retrieved on 2019-08-30. “Main propulsion comes from four Caterpillar C18 diesels, producing 1,150 hp at 2,300 rpm each. The Cats connect to four Hamilton Jet 403 waterjets through ZF Marine 665 marine gears. The cruising speed is 35 knots, and top speed is 45 knots.”
  5. Marilyn McAdams Sibley (2013). The Port of Houston: A History. University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292783676.