Lewes fire and rescue boat rebuilt and back in service
The Lewes Volunteer Fire Department’s fire and rescue boat is back on the water after more than a year of being out of service for repairs.
The fire and rescue boat sank in August 2018 while it was docked in the Broadkill River.
“Due to that incident the boat did have to get sent away and was completely refurbished,” said Aidan Gause - the chief of marine operations at the Lewes Fire Department.“We took delivery of the boat back, I believe the last week August of this year, so just about a year to the day from the accident. And it’s completely re-done with all new features.”
Gause says the hull was all that was useable. The boat’s entire interior was stripped and refurbished by a company in Virginia at a total cost of $600,000.
He says all of the electronic features inside had to be replaced including thermal heat cameras.
“The hull itself of the boat remains the same. So outward appearances the boat looks almost identical to what it did before," said Gause."A lot of its capabilities are the same - most of the upgrades had to do with different electronic systems. At the time of our accident, the boat was 10 years old so all of our electronics were very quickly becoming outdated.”
The Lewes Fire Department has one of only two ocean-capable rescue vessels south of the City of Wilmington; Slaughter Beach has the other. Gause says with their vessel out of service for a year - Slaughter Beach’s vessel was the only one available for emergency calls.
Gause says the Lewes Volunteer Fire Department’s fire and rescue boat averages 50 to 60 dispatch calls each year.