Lewes Fire and Rescue Boat Returns to Service - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lewes Fire and Rescue Boat Returns to Service

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LEWES, Del. - The Lewes Volunteer Fire Department's fire and rescue boat is back in service after sinking into the canal while it was docked last August. It now returns with several updates. 

Marine Operations Chief Aidan Gause says the boat now features new thermal heat cameras with a bigger screen, 35 individual AIS beacons, and a touchscreen navigation system. 

Gause says a mechanical malfunction during routine maintenance caused the boat sink and that a boat building company in Virginia performed the repairs. It's now back right where it left off almost a year later.

"The only thing that's original here is the hull itself," says Gause. "The entire inside of the boat was completely stripped. All the electronics were redone and the engine was rebuilt." 

Gause says the boat gets about 50 to 60 calls per year. He says since getting it back, the most recent rescue with people in the water took place on Wednesday morning. "A commercial fishing vessel sunk after contacting the wall," he says. "Our boat was involved as well as some of our partners with the Delaware River and Bay Pilot's Association."

Gause says the new touch screen navigation system makes for easier monitoring in rougher waters. He says the new AIS beacons will transmit real time GPS data to a satellite, which is accessible not only by the fire and rescue boat, but to any boat in the area as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.

In addition to rescue calls, the fire and rescue boat also attends 15 to 20 events every year. You can find it next in October at Coast Day in Lewes. 

 

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