New rescue boat to be equipped for harbor rescues

Nov 19, 2013

Residents questioned a $59,000 Special Town Meeting article to equip a new rescue boat given to the town, but ultimately approved the article.

The 27-foot boat was recently retired from service by the Coast Guard and donated to the town for use by the Fire Department for rescues.

“This boat is going to provide a lot more safety for our staff as well as our boaters and everyone on the waterways that would require our services,” said Fire Chief Andrew Murray.

The aluminum boat allows first responders to travel in a dry, heated compartment, which lets them stay out longer on rescue missions, said Murray.

Residents, however, were concerned that a new boat would take up valuable space on the dock. They also questioned if the new boat was necessary.

Town Administrator Mike Gagne said the boat is already better equipped than the Fire Department’s existing vessel, and that it makes a rescue of someone in the water much easier than the Harbormaster's boat.

Selectmen Chair Tyler Macallister said as a commercial fisherman, he was confident that boat was a vital addition to the town.

“This boat is designed to go through some pretty big crap. This can handle some water that my 35-foot boat would shutter at,” he said. “Once equipped, it will replace the existing aluminum boat.”

Murray also said the boat is in perfect condition. He recently visited the boat's previous crew.

“The crew wanted it back,” he said.

Voters approved the article to equip the boat 88 to 11.