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Press Releases / 2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 9, 2009



The FDNY Marine Division’s newest fireboat, Three Forty Three, will be launched at a ceremony on Friday, September 11th at 10 a.m. at Eastern Shipbuilding Group shipyard at 2200 Nelson Street in Panama City, FloridaThe ship is named in honor of all FDNY members killed on September 11th.  The launch ceremony will consist of the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle across the bow, followed by the first splash down of the ship into the sea.

The Three Forty Three is expected to arrive in New York City in December and will be assigned to Marine 1, stationed on the Hudson River in Manhattan, replacing the 50-year-old John D. McKean. A second ship currently under construction, Fire Fighter II, will eventually replace the 50-year-old Fire Fighter, and will be assigned to Marine 9 on Staten Island.  Both fireboats were funded, in large part, by over $40 million dollars in grants from the Department of Homeland Security.  Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Panama City, Florida was awarded the contract for detailed design and construction of the ships on December 28, 2007.  The fireboat’s original design is from naval architectural firm Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C.

“On September 11th, we all saw how important fireboats are to New York City.  The FDNY Marine Division rescued and transported hundreds of citizens and provided the only supply of water to battle the fires at the World Trade Center for many days,” said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.  “The Three Forty Three will significantly improve our ability to respond to emergencies in and around New York Harbor, while also reminding us all of the incredible sacrifices so many of our members made eight years ago.”

The new 140-foot, 500-ton, $27 million dollar boat will be the country’s largest fireboat with a maximum speed of 18 knots.  The Three Forty Threewill provide the FDNY with the latest technology available for Marine vessels, including the capability of pumping 50,000 gallons of water per minute; nearly 30,000 gallons more than its predecessor.  The Three Forty Three has been designed, with the assistance of U.S. Navy engineers from the U.S. military’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and Naval Sea Systems Command, to detect and protect firefighters from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents.  The ship contains a pressurized area that filters the air supply using special charcoal and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, allowing the crew members to operate when needed in hostile environments.  Decontamination and first aid can be handled aboard the ship as well by means of a de-con shower area that leads to a triage and first-aid station.

Other innovative designs make this ship extremely useful to the FDNY. The Three Forty Three features a forward ballast tank which lowers the boat in the water to match its deck with larger ferries that operate in the waters around New York City.  This feature will allow the fireboat to safely transfer and evacuate people in an emergency.  The ship’s pilot house is configured to allow the Captain a 360-degree view of an operation, which can assist with maneuvering the vessel in tight quarters.  In addition, the Three Forty Three has a command and control area where the ship’s officers will be able to monitor and direct fire operations with the aid of remote cameras and state-of-the-art communication equipment.

The FDNY Marine Fleet consists of more than 30 vessels responsible for over 450 miles of coastline and harbors and has protected New York City residents for 134 years.



Chief of Special Operations William Seelig, Chief of Marine Operations
James Dalton, Battalion Chief of Marine Operations Michael Buckheit,
Retired Chief of Special Operations William Siegel, President of Eastern
Shipbuilding Group, Inc Brian D’Isernia


Eastern Shipbuilding Group – 2200 Nelson Street, Panama City, FL


Friday, September 11, 2009 – 10 a.m.

*** Photo-Op

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Frank Dwyer, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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